Nav: Home

Toward 'greener,' inexpensive solar cells

October 07, 2016

This news release was issued on 28-Sept-2016

Solar panels are proliferating across the globe to help reduce the world's dependency on fossil fuels. But conventional panels are not without environmental costs, too. Now scientists are reporting in the Journal of the American Chemical Society a new advance toward more practical, "greener" solar cells made with inexpensive halide perovskite materials. They have developed low-bandgap perovskite solar cells with a reduced lead content and a power conversion efficiency of 15 percent.

In hopes of one day replacing silicon-based photovoltaic cells, which are relatively expensive and require a lot of energy to make, scientists have turned to hybrid organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites that can be developed at a lower cost using less energy than silicon. The efficiency of these materials has increased rapidly over the past several years. But further improving the efficiency requires stacking two sub-cells with the top one exhibiting a wide bandgap and the bottom a low bandgap to form a tandem cell. The bandgap refers to the lowest energy of light that a semiconductor can absorb. The performance of low-bandgap perovskite cells has been lagging for many years. Dewei Zhao, Ren-Gen Xiong, Yanfa Yan and colleagues sought a way to change this.

For their solar cells, the researchers developed a new precursor solution combining formamidinium tin iodide and methylammonium lead iodide. The resulting tin-lead perovskite cells had low bandgaps and up to 15 percent power conversion efficiency. Other teams recently reported low-bandgap cells with about 13.6 percent efficiency. Additionally, the cells contained 60 percent less lead than the lead-based, single-junction (non-tandem) perovskite solar cell holding the current record efficiency of 22.1 percent. The reduction in lead content and improved efficiency for a low-bandgap cell represent a significant step toward practical, more environmentally friendly perovskite tandem solar cells, the researchers say.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the National Science Foundation, the Ohio Research Scholar Program, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: TwitterFacebook

American Chemical Society

Related Solar Cells Articles:

Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have successfully designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite.
Printable solar cells just got a little closer
A University of Toronto Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper.
A big nano boost for solar cells
Solar cells convert light into electricity. While the sun is one source of light, the burning of natural resources like oil and natural gas can also be harnessed.
Game changer for organic solar cells
Researchers develop a simple processing technique that could cut the cost of organic photovoltaics and wearable electronics.
Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
A University of California, Riverside assistant professor has combined photosynthesis and physics to make a key discovery that could help make solar cells more efficient.
Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells
Researchers at the University of Surrey have achieved record power conversion efficiencies for large area organic solar cells.
A new way to image solar cells in 3-D
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a way to use optical microscopy to map thin-film solar cells in 3-D as they absorb photons.
Toward 'greener,' inexpensive solar cells
Solar panels are proliferating across the globe to help reduce the world's dependency on fossil fuels.
A new technique opens up advanced solar cells
Using a novel spectroscopic technique, EPFL scientists have made a much-needed breakthrough in cutting-edge photovoltaics.
OU physicists developing new systems for next generation solar cells
University of Oklahoma physicists are developing novel technologies with the potential to impact utility-scale energy generation, increase global energy capacity and reduce dependence on fossil fuels by producing a new generation of high efficiency solar cells.

Related Solar Cells Reading:

PHYSICS OF SOLAR CELLS, THE (Properties of Semiconductor Materials)
by Jenny Nelson (Author)

Solar Cell Materials: Developing Technologies (Wiley Series in Materials for Electronic & Optoelectronic Applications)
by Arthur Willoughby (Author), Gavin J. Conibeer (Editor)

Practical Photovoltaics: Electricity from Solar Cells, 3rd Edition
by Richard J. Komp (Author), John Perlin (Foreword)

Build A Solar Hydrogen Fuel Cell System
by Phillip Hurley (Author)

Large-Scale PV Module Manufacturing Using Ultra-Thin Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells
by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NR (Creator)

A Basic Research on The Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC)
by Arini Nuran Binti Zulkifili (Author), Akira Fujiki (Author)

Physics of Solar Cells: From Basic Principles to Advanced Concepts (No Longer Used)
by Peter Würfel (Author), Uli Würfel (Author)

Flexible Solar Cells
by Mario Pagliaro (Author), Giovanni Palmisano (Author), Rosaria Ciriminna (Author)

The Physics of Solar Cells: Perovskites, Organics, and Photovoltaic Fundamentals
by Juan Bisquert (Author)

Principles of Solar Cells, LEDs and Related Devices: The Role of the PN Junction
by Adrian Kitai (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Approaching With Kindness
We often forget to say the words "thank you." But can those two words change how you — and those around you — look at the world? This hour, TED speakers on the power of gratitude and appreciation. Guests include author AJ Jacobs, author and former baseball player Mike Robbins, Dr. Laura Trice, Professor of Management Christine Porath, and former Danish politician Özlem Cekic.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female
This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We'll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain the evolution of two sexes, about anisogamy, sexual reproduction through the fusion of two different gametes: the egg and the sperm. Then we'll speak with Dr. Roberto Pereira, research scientist in urban entomology at the University of Florida, about traumatic insemination in bed bugs.