Newswise — A ‘simple’ tweak to perovskite solar cells during the fabrication stage could help unlock the unexplored potential of the renewable energy source, says research from the University of Surrey.
Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has shown that by precisely controlling the manufacturing process, it is possible to control and reduce unwanted energy losses in perovskite solar panels.
Dr Bowei Li, a lead researcher in the program at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey, said:
“The future of perovskite solar panels is very exciting, with the promise of not only improving the performance of solar farms and roof panels but also many opportunities in powering spacecraft and interstellar probes.
“We hope that the relatively straightforward method demonstrated in our study, which deals with recombination losses, will improve the reproducibility, efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells.”
Perovskite solar cells are widely considered a natural successor to silicon-based solar devices due to their high energy conversion efficiency, low development cost, and lightweight nature. Named after a naturally occurring mineral with the same structural chemical formula, perovskites are synthetic compounds with three-dimensional crystal lattice structures.
The University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute is a global leader in research into perovskite solar cells and their contribution to the development of global clean energy generation.
Dr Wei Zhang, the main supervisor of the research from the University of Surrey, said:
“Perovskites are unique semiconductor materials that could revolutionize next-generation photovoltaic technologies. However, despite unprecedented success in many emerging applications, their absolute potential has yet to be unlocked.
“Our work will improve understanding of the complex interplay between passivators and perovskites at material interfaces and take perovskite photovoltaics to new heights.”
Professor Ravi Silva, the co-supervisor of the research program and Director of ATI at the University of Surrey, said:
“Net-Zero is impossible if solar energy is not an important ingredient in the mix. Solar energy is currently the leading technology for large-scale low-cost green energy harvesting worldwide.
“ATI, and indeed the University of Surrey, is dedicated to ensuring that this perovskite technology complements conventional solar modules and is essential to the sustainability requirements for tomorrow’s world.”
The research is published in Advanced Energy Materials. It is a collaboration between the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Swansea University, University of Sheffield, University of Toronto, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
Reference: Bowei Li et al; Suppressing Interfacial Recombination with a Strong Interaction Surface Modulator for Efficient Inverted Perovskite Solar Cells; Adv. Energy Mater. 2022, 2202868. https://doi.org/10.1002/aenm.202202868
Professor Ravi Silva is available for interview upon request.