Perovskite is one of the most prospective materials for solar PV, and US scientists are now elevating the efficiency of the material by more than threefold by integrating a layer of mirror.
Silion solar has been the top choice for the solar industry over the past several years, and is gradually dropping in cost especially with the increasing volume of installed capacity and maturity of technology, followed by an exceptional performance in conversion efficiency. However, the new competitor perovskite is not only cheaper, but can also be made into various flexible and lightweight modules, and has caught up to silicon solar in terms of efficiency.
The University of Rochester managed to increase the efficiency of perovskite by 3.5 times simply by adding a layer of silver mirror, without any adjustments in materials, and reduced energy consumption through altering electron interactions within perovskite.
Perovskite is similar to other materials pertaining to generating power through stimulation on electrons within solar cells by sunlight, where atoms that are yielded are guided to generate currents. However, electrons would return to leftover electron holes from time to time, and manifest an electron recombination when both electrons and electron holes disappear, which further lowers the total current, and naturally obstructs from an increase in material efficiency.
With that being said, research staffs discovered that placing perovskite materials on substrates formed with silver and aluminum oxide would lower the chance of electron recombination. The research team commented that mirror images would produce an inverted image of what would manifest in electrons and electron holes, and thus reduce the possibility of recombination between electrons and electron holes. Research personnel pointed out that an addition of a mirror layer would ramp up the conversion efficiency of light by 250%.
Scientists, before perovskite materials are substantially expanded in commercial applications, would also have to try and bring down the degradation rate of cells, and are currently looking for perovskite materials that are more stable. Chunlei Guo, first author of the thesis, commented that they are seeking for physical methods that can elevate performance of perovskite material in a simple and straightforward manner.
(Cover photo source: University of Rochester)