Solar cells based on minerals called perovskite are gaining in popularity, and recent achievements by scientists at Princeton University should bolster their position.
It’s a cell design that can withstand up to 30 years of use – not under controlled laboratory conditions, but under real conditions. The aforementioned team presented their achievements in the pages Sciencesarguing that it’s not just about creating more durable perovskite solar cells — their methods will also make it easier to test the durability of other types of cells.
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Silicon, which has been widely used as a base for cells for a long time, is slowly being replaced by perovskite. It only approaches its performance, but at the same time it is cheaper to manufacture, lighter and more flexible. However, the problem lies in its poor stability and tendency to disintegrate under the influence of external factors.
Perovskites are minerals used to make solar cells
A potential breakthrough in this regard is the work of scientists at Princeton University. They decided to place an extremely thin layer between the light-absorbing layer of the perovskite and the charge-carrying layer. The said layer has a thickness of atoms and is made of carbon, lead, iodine and chlorine disulfide. The purpose of its use is to protect the device from burnout.
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If team members’ predictions come true, perovskite solar cells protected in this way can withstand up to 30 years of outdoor use. If successful, it will be the first links of this kind to cross the magical twenty-year boundary. To predict this strength, the reinforced cells were placed in chambers where they were exposed to bright light and different temperatures. These temperatures ranged from 35 to 110 degrees Celsius, thanks to which the researchers were able to see how the cells would behave in certain conditions. This solution can also be applied to other types of cells.
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