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This solar cell promises to be less expensive

By Paul Grad |

A commercial prototype perovskite solar cell that is less expensive than current thin-film solar cells is under development by a team from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore; www.ntu.edu.sg), in collaboration with Dyesol Ltd. (Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia; www.dyesol.com) and professor Michael Grätzel from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Lausanne; www.epfl.ch). The team has produced solar cells made from perovskite materials using a simple solution-based manufacturing process. It studied organic-inorganic halide perovskite materials, such as CH3NH3PbI3, as light harvesters in solid-state sensitized solar cells. Perovskite can convert up to 15% of sunlight to electricity, close to the 20% efficiency of commercial thin-film solar cells. Until now, scientists did not understand the process by which those perovskite materials convert sunlight to electricity. The team achieved a detailed understanding of that process using femtosecond transient optical spectroscopy on bilayers that interface the perovskite with either selective-electron or selective-hole extraction materials. It discovered that in those materials the electrons generated by sunlight can travel lengths of at least 100 nm. This will allow making thicker…
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