April 2021

Researchers pinpoint surprising cause of efficiency loss in solar cells based on hybrid perovskites

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have discovered an important factor that limits the efficiency of perovskite solar cells.

Various possible defects in the lattice of hybrid perovskites had previously been considered as the potential cause of such limitations, but it was assumed that the organic molecules would remain intact. The team has now revealed that missing hydrogen atoms in these molecules can cause massive efficiency losses.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 30,2021

KIT researchers demonstrate high efficiency over large area perovskite solar module

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite solar modules with greatly reduced loss of efficiency due to scaling. The team reported an efficiency of 18% for a perovskite solar module with an area of ''4cm2 -a world record for vacuum-processed perovskite solar modules. To this end, they combined the series connection by laser with the vacuum processing of all layers of the solar cell.

Interconnecting cells into modules with almost no losses is achieved with an innovative combination of processes image

"One of the main challenges is to transfer the efficiencies achieved on areas of a few square millimeters to typical solar module surfaces of a few hundred square centimeters," says Dr. Tobias Abzieher, who heads the development of perovskite solar cells deposited from a vacuum at the Light Technology Institute (LTI) of the KIT. Perovskite solar cells are often joined together to form large-area solar modules using the so-called monolithic series connection. For this purpose, structuring lines are introduced during the deposition of the individual layers of the solar cell, which causes the solar cell strips to be connected in series.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 30,2021

Researchers report new perovskite-based synapse-like phototransistor

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have reported a breakthrough in energy-efficient phototransistors - devices that could someday help computers process visual information similarly to the human brain and be used as sensors in applications like self-driving vehicles.

The structures rely on metal-halide perovskites. Jeffrey Blackburn, a senior scientist at NREL and co-author of a new paper outlining the research, said: 'In general, these perovskite semiconductors are a really unique functional system with potential benefits for a number of different technologies'. 'NREL became interested in this material system for photovoltaics, but they have many properties that could be applied to whole different areas of science.'

Read the full story Posted: Apr 29,2021

UNT team uses additive manufacturing to print inks of 2D perovskites

A University of North Texas researcher and his team have reported a breakthrough in using additive manufacturing to further research into flexible solar panels.

A complete process flow of inkjet printing 2d perovskite inks image

Anupama Kaul, Professor of Engineering from the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering, has successfully used additive manufacturing to print inks of 2D perovskites.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 27,2021

Researchers use pressure to manipulate the speed of the 'hot carrier cooling' process in perovskites

Researchers at AMOLF have found a way to manipulate the speed of the 'hot carrier cooling' process in perovskites. In this process, high energy photons lose their excess energy in the form of heat before being converted to electricity. In solar cells, about two thirds of the energy of sunlight is lost - and half of this loss stems from the hot carrier cooling process.

Schematic representation of the pressure-dependent fs-TA setup showing the generation of hot carriers imageSchematic representation of the pressure-dependent setup. Image from JACS article

The AMOLF team found a way to manipulate the speed of this process in perovskites, by applying pressure to the material. This paves the way for making perovskites more versatile, not only for use in solar cells but also in a variety of other applications, from lasers to thermoelectric devices.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 26,2021

Solliance partners reach new efficiency record with four terminal tandem configurations

Solliance partners TNO, imec/EnergyVille and the Eindhoven University of Technology, have reported a 18.6% efficient highly near infrared transparent perovskite solar cell. When combined in a four terminal tandem configuration with an efficient Panasonic crystalline silicon (c-Si) cell or with a Miasolé flexible CIGS cell, the configuration delivered new record power conversion efficiencies of 28.7% and 27.0%, respectively.

The researchers explained that four terminal tandems allow to build on experience and practices already available in the industry. In addition, four terminal perovskite/c-Si tandems can be applied broadly and are, for example, very beneficial in combination with bifacial c-Si solar cells which, depending on the actual albedo, can readily achieve a total power generation density as high as 320 W/m2.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 22,2021

NASA to launch new satellite that will help test perovskite solar cells' performance in harsh conditions

NASA has announced that a small satellite, designed and built by Brown University students, will ride on a future rocket launch.

NASA to launch new satellite that tests PSCs imageImage credit: Brown University

The new satellite, dubbed PVDX (Perovskite Visuals and Degradation eXperiment), is a cubesat ' a class of miniature satellites ideal for doing low-cost science experiments or technology demonstration in space. Members of Brown Space Engineering (BSE), a student group, worked for three years to develop a mission plan and proposal for NASA's Cubesat Launch Initiative, which uses auxiliary cargo space on rockets to send cubesats to space.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 22,2021

A new perovskite catalyst could promote CO2 utilization

Researchers at TU Wien in Vienna have succeeded in producing a special perovskite suited to act as a catalyst for converting CO2 into other useful substances, such as synthetic fuels. The new perovskite catalyst is reportedly very stable and also relatively low cost, so it could be suitable for industrial use.

"We are interested in the so-called reverse water-gas shift reaction," says Prof. Christoph Rameshan from the Institute of Materials Chemistry at TU Wien. "In this process, carbon dioxide and hydrogen are converted into water and carbon monoxide. You can then process the carbon monoxide further, for example into methanol, other chemical base materials or even into fuel."

Read the full story Posted: Apr 20,2021

Hunt Perovskite Technologies secures DOE funding

Hunt Perovskite Technologies (HPT) recently revealed that it has been selected for an award of $2.5 million in financing from the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Perovskite Funding Program.

In addition, HPT is also co-Principle Investigator and collaborative partner in two other DOE perovskite funding award selections, including a $1.5 million award to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and a $1.25 million award to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

Read the full story Posted: Apr 17,2021