An international research group reported boosting the efficiency of perovskite solar cells by adding silicon nanoparticles. Silicon particles do not absorb light, nor do they interact with other materials in the cell, according to ITMO University in St. Petersburg, which worked with St. Petersburg State University and scientists in Italy and the USA.

“Dielectric particles don’t absorb light, so they don’t heat up,” said ITMO researcher Aleksandra Furasova. “They are chemically inert and don’t affect the stability of the battery. Besides, being highly resonant, such particles can absorb more light of a wide range of wavelengths. Due to special layout characteristics, they don’t damage the structure of the cells. These advantages allowed us to enhance cells efficiency up to almost 19%. So far, this is the best-known result for this particular perovskite material with incorporated nanoparticles”.

The particular perovskite that was used is MAPbI3 perovskite, with the silicon particles between the mesoporous TiO2 transport layer and active layers.

“Now we can further try to use such particles for other types of perovskites with increased efficiency and stability,” said fellow researcher Sergey Makarov. “Apart from that, the nanoparticles themselves can be modified in order to enhance their optical and transport properties.”