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The next generation Solar Cells Are Here

The next generation Solar Cells Are Here

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In Summary

The search for an eco-friendly, renewable and efficient source of energy has been an unending quest for scientists and engineers. It looks like perovskite solar cells may be the tentative solution of the global energy crisis.

Editor Posted by Tripti
30/12/2016

Solar cells are an ingenious invention of the human brain, which enables us to harness the energy of the Sun. However, there are several limiting factors, which restrict its widespread commercial applications;low energy efficiency and non homogenous power output being the most important ones. The newly developed Perovskite solar cells may provide the best solution to overcome these obstacles.

Principle of Perovskite solar cells

The perovskite photovoltaic technology is based on organometal halides, which employs the liquid-based and dye-sensitized solar cell structures.

The newly developed solar cells involve adsorption of the methylammonium lead halide perovskite on to nanocrystalline Titanium dioxide surface. As a result of this a photocurrent is produced which has a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of around 3–4%.

Recently, scientists innovated the highly advanced and more energy efficient version of perovskite solar cell by replacing the solid hole conductor of the cell with a liquid electrolyte. The efficiency of such solar cells jumped upto 18-20%, which is the optimum value for commercial application of the technology.

The perovskite solar cell represents the most appropriate renewable energy option for wide spread applications in the near future.

History

The production of thin film based photovoltaic cells was revolutionized after the introduction of the lead halide perovskite as the absorbing material of the cells. The first perovskite based solar cells were developedin the year 2009. However the energy efficiency of those initially developed cells were as low as 4%.

The use of device geometrics similar to that of solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells started in the year 2012 which significantly improved the efficiency of the solar cells to 10-12%. Furthermore, addition of scaffold layers of titanium dioxide and aluminum oxide in the solar cells segmented the efficiency of the solar cell to 18%.

Current status and future prospective

Scientists are still apprehensive of the method of hysteresis used in the measurement of the photocurrent density-voltage and the stability of perovskite used in the manufacture of the solar cells. Research and innovation to sort out these issues and promote applicability of the solar cells is going on in various research institutes across the globe.

References:

Park, N. G. (2015). Perovskite solar cells: an emerging photovoltaic technology. Materials Today18(2), 65-72.

Chen, W., Wu, Y., Yue, Y., Liu, J., Zhang, W., Yang, X., ... & Han, L. (2015). Efficient and stable large-area perovskite solar cells with inorganic charge extraction layers. Science350(6263), 944-948.

Jeon, N. J., Noh, J. H., Yang, W. S., Kim, Y. C., Ryu, S., Seo, J., &Seok, S. I. (2015).Compositional engineering of perovskite materials for high-performance solar cells. Nature517(7535), 476-480.

Lin, Q., Armin, A., Nagiri, R. C. R., Burn, P. L., & Meredith, P. (2015). Electro-optics of perovskite solar cells. Nature Photonics9(2), 106-112.