University of Tokyo team's investigation of perovskite structures may lead to improvement of solar cell performance

University of Tokyo researchers have studies the structure of organometal halide perovskites, a ubiquitous class of solar cells and came up with interesting results.

Dr. Tae Woong Kim: “Until now, it has been believed each crystal phase of the perovskite solely exists at its given temperature range. However, in this research, we revealed their crystal phases coexist at room temperature and the coexistence induces self-organized superlattice structure. These evidences overturn the conventional theory. Especially, the existence of the spontaneous superlattice will maximize their potential for wide and diverse applications.”

Atomic movies may help explain perovskite solar cells' efficiency

In a work supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) and Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), researchers from Stanford, University Pennsylvania, SLAC National Accelerator Lab, Columbia University, Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington and Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have shown how atoms in perovskites respond to light and could explain the high efficiency of these perovskite-based solar cells.

The team explains that sunlight causes large changes to the underlying network of atoms that make up perovskites. Before being hit with light, six iodine atoms rest around a lead atom. Within 10 trillionths of a second after being hit with light, the iodine atoms whirl around each lead atom. These first atomic steps distort the structure and result in significant changes. Furthermore, the atoms’ motions alters the way electricity flows and may help explain the efficiency of perovskites in solar cells.

Korean team improves the stability of perovskite-based solar cells

New research by teams at Inha University and Chonnam National University in South Korea reveals how to improve the lifetime of perovskite-based solar cells. The team has developed a method known as co-precipitation to make a thin film comprising nanoporous nickel oxide as the hole transporting layer (HTL) for a perovskite solar cell that uses the unique composition of FAPbI3 and or MAPbBr3 as the perovskite layer. In addition, they used an organic air-stable inorganic zinc oxide nanoparticles compound as the ETL (electron transporting layer) in order to protect the perovskite layer from air.

"We successfully optimized the metal oxide based HTL and ETL protecting layers for highly efficient perovskite absorber by a simple method which can make air-stable photovoltaics," explains co-author of the study. "Our main goal is to solve the problem of the tedious process of making conventional additive-doped, highly expensive, unstable HTLs by replacing low-cost, inorganic air-stable p and n-type metal oxides," he added.

Thin films of perovskite oxides may enable writing data at terahertz frequency

scientists at the University of Warwick, Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Los Alamos National Laboratory and University at Buffalo in the U.S have found a colossal magnetoresistance at terahertz frequencies at room temperature in high-quality functional perovskite-based nanocomposites. This may find use in nanoelectronics and in THz optical components controlled by magnetic fields.

Thin films of perovskite oxides may enable writing data at terahertz frequency

Electronics that can read and write data at terahertz frequency, rather than at a few gigahertz, can lead to faster performance. Creating such devices would be aided by the use of materials that can undergo a huge change in how easily they conduct electricity in response to a magnetic field at room temperature. Scientists believe thin films of perovskite oxides hold promise for such uses, but such behavior has until now never been seen at these frequencies in these films.

New titanium-based material shows promise for lead-free perovskite-based PV

Researchers at Brown University and University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL) have come up with a new titanium-based material for making lead-free, inorganic perovskite solar cells. The team shows that the material has significant potential, especially for making tandem solar cells.

Titanium as an attractive choice to replace the toxic lead in the perovskite solar cells

"Titanium is an abundant, robust and biocompatible element that, until now, has been largely overlooked in perovskite research," said the senior author of the new paper. "We showed that it's possible to use titanium-based material to make thin-film perovskites and that the material has favorable properties for solar applications which can be tuned."

Cintelliq reveals interesting details on the state of the perovskite solar cell patent landscape

A recent report by Cintelliq on the perovskite solar cell patent landscape shows massive growth in perovskite photovoltaic patent publications over the past two years. In 2016 and 2017 more than 1500 patents have been published representing 75% of all perovskite photovoltaic patents published since 2008.

Perovskite patents chart image

The total number of patents published to the end of December 2017 is 2030 and filed by 396 distinct assignees. These published patents arise from innovations that occurred in previous years, as can be seen in the chart of yearly patent filed and published. As can also be seen there are fewer patent filings in 2016 and even less in 2017. However, this is not a rapid fall in filings, but a probable side effect of the length of time it takes to go from initial filing through to initial publications.

A new fuel cell with a perovskite-based cathode shows exceptional power density and stability

A team of researchers at Northwestern University has created a new fuel cell with a perovskite-based cathode, that offers both exceptional power densities and long-term stability at optimal temperatures.

"For years, industry has told us that the holy grail is getting fuel cells to work at 500-degrees Celsius and with high power density, which means a longer life and less expensive components," said the team. "With this research, we can now envision a path to making cost-effective fuel cells and transforming the energy landscape."