January 27, 2023

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Perovskite solar cells are more stable than ever. Recent research helped

Where does their interest come from? For example, because silicon-based cells require a lot of energy and are created using multi-stage production methods. This, in turn, translates into higher prices for photovoltaic panels.

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Perovskite solar cells were developed in 2009 and the technology has made many advances over the years. Mixing perovskites with halides disrupts the stability of the cells, so silicon modules remain the most popular choice. According to the publication published in JouleThanks to recent research, instability may turn into a long-awaited problem.

Behind this potential breakthrough are scientists at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, who propose an approach that could increase the stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells. The problem so far has been that said cells have wide bandgaps in which no electrical activity occurs. In contrast, electrons move from one energy band to another only within narrow gaps.

Perovskite solar cells are an alternative to silicon-based cells

At the same time, the semiconductor material in the cells should have smaller bandgaps, because only then can the electrons excited by sunlight pass smoothly to the conductive electrodes to generate electricity. As if that weren’t enough, sunlight can lead to halide segregation in the perovskite blend, reducing the final yield.

One hurdle to commercializing perovskite solar cells is their operational stability, which puts them at a significant disadvantage compared to photovoltaic technologies already on the market. This is a particular problem with halide-doped perovskites, which are ideal materials for tandem solar cells.
The authors explain

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To increase the stability of perovskite solar cells, the scientists used alkylammonium modifiers. Two cells in this configuration were tested for 1,200 and 250 consecutive hours, and the rates were able to compensate for energy losses due to wide enough bandgaps to increase the overall efficiency of the cell. Conversion efficiency increased by 25 percent and 21 percent. A cell operating for 1,200 hours restored up to 90 percent of its initial efficiency, while the second yielded an 80 percent result.