Researchers from orea Research Institute of Chemical Technology and Sungkyunkwan University have developed a new way to mix perovskite structures with a new record level of efficiency in solar cells, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.
The research team is searching for other materials than polysilicon, such as perovskite structures (a structure similar to the calcium titanium oxide) which offer a good power output while keeping costs down.
The efficiency achieved by the researchers reached 17.9 percent by blending methylammounium lead bromide with formamidinium lead iodide. After some tests and trials with different mix ratio, the the team achieved the highest efficiency.
The best result was achieved with a 85-15 mixture. Furthermore, the cells can be made via a printing process, a fact that could lead to drastically reduce the procution costs and expand the possibilities.
Unfortunately, perovskite based materials are water soluble, raising serious concerns about how to protect them from water or humidity. Another drawback comes with scaling, the cells tested were 0.1 square centimeter size, and finally the hysteresis, a phenomenon that makes materials change when first exposed and leading to a drop in efficiency.
More information: Compositional engineering of perovskite materials for high-performance solar cells, Nature (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14133