Addition of biological material boosts performance of perovskite solar cells

An international team of researchers, including ones from Penn State, Columbia University, University of Toledo, Northeastern University in the U.S and Carl von Ossietzky University in Germany, designed next-gen solar cells that mimic photosynthesis with a biological material, by adding the protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) to perovskite solar cells.

Power conversion efficiency (PCE) distribution of bR-incorporated PSC imagePower conversion efficiency (PCE) distribution of bR-incorporated PSC based on statistics of 15 devices, with average efficiency of 16.34 %. Image from ACS article

“These findings open the door for the development of a cheaper, more environmentally friendly bioperovskite solar cell technology,” said Shashank Priya, associate vice president for research and professor of materials science at Penn State. “In the future, we may essentially replace some expensive chemicals inside solar cells with relatively cheaper natural materials.”

Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) develops efficient flat-type perovskite solar cell

Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) recently stated that it has developed a flat-type perovskite solar cell with "the world's best photoelectric conversion efficiency".

KEPRI, an R&D subsidiary of KEPCO, reportedly succeeded in producing perovskite solar cell with 20.4% photoelectric conversion efficiency, surpassing the 20.1% efficiency of flat solar cells announced so far.

Tin-containing perovskite solar cells achieve 30% power conversion

A team of researchers from Stanford University and University of Colorado Boulder, led by Professor Michael McGehee, demonstrated how to dramatically improve the stability of tin-containing perovskite materials used in stacked solar cells, allowing for up to 30% power conversion efficiency.

These stacked perovskite solar cells could be an inexpensive alternative to silicon solar panels that operate at only 20% efficiency. McGehee and his team have been developing perovskite stacking methods for years in an attempt to increase power conversion efficiency.

Tokyo Tech team tackles PSCs' reproducibility problem using carbon nanotubes

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have conducted an in-depth study on how carbon nanotubes with oxygen-containing groups can be used to enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells. The discovery of perovskites' self-recrystallization ability could lead to the improvement of perovskite solar cells.

Self-recrystallization of functionalized CNT-covered perovskite image

A major obstacle that stands before perovskite solar cells is reproducibility. This means that it is hard to consistently create perovskite crystal layers free of defects and holes, which means that deviations from design values are likely to occur and reduce their efficiency. However, researchers have found that the efficiency of these cells can be boosted by combining perovskite with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The mechanism by which CNTs and perovskite bond together and how this affects the performance of CNT perovskite solar cells has not been studied in depth. In addition, the ability of pure CNTs to bond to perovskite is not very good, and this could compromise the structural and conducting properties at the interface of both materials.

Chinese researchers develop perovskite solar cells with enhanced stability

A research team led by Prof. GAO Peng from Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed high-performance perovskite solar cells with enhanced environmental stability.

The team reported a 2-(4-fluorophenyl)ethylamine (FPEA: 4-FC6H4C2H4NH3) bulky cation to grow a 2D perovskite overlayer on the top of the Cs/FA/MA triple-cation 3D perovskite to combine the high stability of 2D perovskite with high efficiency of 3D perovskite simultaneously.