There is great potential for significantly improving the solar conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells, according to new research from the University of Washington and Oxford University — owing to the fact that there are microscopic flaws in the perovskite crystals used in such applications that can be removed/corrected, thereby greatly improving conversion efficiency.
Given that perovskite solar cells already had a lot going for them (and a lot of commercial interest), these new findings should only serve to further the attractiveness of the technology.
The real takeaway of the new research, though, isn’t so much the existence of the flaws, as the fact that these “flawed areas” can be “turned on” via the use of chemical treatments.
“Surprisingly, this result shows that even what are being called good, or highly-efficient perovskite films today still are ‘bad’ compared to what they could be. This provides a clear target for future researchers seeking to improve and grow the materials,” stated David Ginger, a professor of chemistry at the University of Washington.
With conversion efficiencies of around 20% already being reported in the lab (with regard to perovskite solar cells), the potential for big boosts to efficiencies are something to take note of — even if, for the time being, these are only “potential boosts.”
To be specific here — for those curious — the new findings (the flaws, etc) were made via the application of confocal optical microscopy. That approach works by correlating fluorescent images with others gathered through the use of an electron microscope, thereby exposing the “dark” (flawed) areas.
The new findings were recently published in the journal Science.
Image Credit: Oxford
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