Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have set a new world record for the use of perovskite solar cells by inventing a new method.
This Study It focused on perovskite solar cells made using a special group of inexpensive materials. The team achieved 21.6 percent efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity, a new record for perovskite solar cells larger than one square centimeter.
According to Tom White, the study’s lead author and researcher, they succeeded by applying a technique that had previously been successful in silicon solar cells. “One of the common problems in solar cells is that any defect in the cell can trap electrons and deprive them of the energy from absorbing sunlight,” he said. One way to counteract this problem is to turn off the absorbent surface with a thin layer of another material, but the problem is that the materials used to reduce defects are often poor electrical conductors.
According to Dr. Joon Peng, who developed the solution to the problem, some silicon cells use holes to pass electrons through these insulating layers, creating a kind of conductive pathway. Then they decided to have a similar process with perovskite cells.
“To do this in perovskite solar cells, we need holes at the nanometer scale, which is thousands of times smaller than the samples created in silicon,” Dr. Peng said. So instead of holes, they used nanoscale rods that sink into the insulation layer.
Since this is the first time this method has been performed on perovskite cells, the researchers used computer simulations to prove its function. “Once solar cells are created, it will be difficult to explore them,” said Dr. Daniel Walter, who modeled the project. “We were able to explain how nanorods improve cell function by simulating what happens inside the cell.”
Tom White finally stated that they will continue this experiment to achieve higher efficiency than perovskite. The team’s record results were also independently verified by the CSIRO Photovoltaic Performance Laboratory.