Creating Efficient Perovskite Crystals

Credit: Cadmium from Wikimedia Commons

Alternative fuels are of interest to many people and industries due to limited resources and rising prices. Solar energy has been considered a possibility for alternate fuel for a number of years. However, it has not been feasible as a large source of fuel, due in part to the inefficiencies of this type energy storage. This week scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have produced research pointing to the use of perovskite crystals in creating highly efficient solar cells.

If you haven’t been following us, developing technologies is a subject that is near and dear to ATS considering that we test for and remove outdated storage tanks and even developed our own tank testing equipment. Scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs are constantly creating new technologies that make our daily lives easier, streamline difficult processes, improve the environment, and generally bring us closer as a global community. Every Thursday, ATS brings you a new “tech” that we think is worth learning about!

Perovskite crystals are used in solar energy since they have the ability to capture and store both visible and infrared light. They have been used in solar energy technology since around 2009, however, due to their inconsistency they were not considered a defining medium for solar energy. Due to this inconsistency, semi-conductors like silicon have been considered the main material that is optimal for efficient solar energy cells. However, due to the high cost of silicon researchers have been struggling to find a more economic solution. The team at the Los Alamos lab may have found that solution.

In cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE), researchers created planar solar cells from pervoskite materials with large crystalline grains. These solar cells had efficiencies approaching 18%, which is some of the highest reported efficiency rate for perovskite light conversion cells. This method combined with strong consistency between various devices, shows reliable advancement for perovskite materials.

We’re interested to see whether these perovskite cells will become more readily adapted for solar energy. The combination of efficiency, reliability and decreased cost is certainly a benefit for the future of solar energy and we may see an increase in solar cell production.