Researchers from Sungkyunkwan University and Pusan National University recently succeeded in complementing an intrinsic defect of a perovskite solar cell’s absorber layer by adding a virus. The team showed that the efficiency of photoelectric transformation improved by using a virus rather than a chemical compound as solar cell thin film.

Solar cells based on perovskites as an absorber layer usually require the addition of a chemical compound due to intrinsic defects of perovskite crystal. Perovskite solar cells are limited as the process of adding chemical compounds is expensive and the purity of the generated material is low.

The research team used an ‘M13 bacteriophage’ that it acquired through a culture instead of a chemical compound. This method generated a photoelectric transformation efficiency of 22.3 percent, higher than most perovskite solar cells.

Amino acids on the surface of the bacteriophage combine with lead ions on the surface of perovskite, invigorating the growth of perovskite crystal and complementing its defects.