According to claims by American researchers, they have managed to identify a new material that would allow greater efficiency in conversion of sunlight into electricity compared to the conventional technologies now used such as silicon and this can form the basis of a development of next-generation solar cells in the near future. .
The unique properties of these inexpensive and quick-to-produce halide perovskites was revealed in the outcome of the study that was published in the journal Chem on Thursday.
“The construction of silicon solar cells is complex and hard to scale-up to the level that would be needed for them to generate even 10 percent of our total demand for electricity,” said John Asbury, associate professor of chemistry at Penn State and senior author of the study.
The focus of the researchers was on eth use of materials which are can easily be processed through a technology that is known roll-to-roll manufacturing. This is a technique that resembles the technology and the technique that is used for rolling out and printing of newspapers at low-cost, high-volume rates of production.
According to Asbury, halide perovskites is able to more efficiently convert sunlight into electricity because of its apparent and unique property of tolerance for imperfections in their structures.
The manner in which the structure and composition of these materials impacts the capacity of the material to convert sunlight into electricity was examined by the researchers with the use of ultrafast infrared imaging technology. The researchers found that the halide perovskites possessed the unique capability of being able to maintain their crystalline structure even as the atoms within their crystals were subjected to unusually large-scale vibrational motion.
“Such large-scale atomic motions typically lead to a loss of crystalline structure in other materials, creating imperfections,” said Asbury.
“But with halide perovskites, researchers can chemically substitute electronically charged atoms in the material to tune the amplitudes of such atomic scale motions. This will allow us to improve the performance and stability of halide perovskite materials,” said Asbury.
The researchers have however admitted that the new material is not stable enough to replace silicon based solar cells because the material was often found to contained toxic elements such as lead. However, s\because of its inherent properties, it can form the basis of development of the next generation of perovskite materials which can would be of a greater stability and has less toxic elements such as tin instead of lead.
(Adapted from Xinhuanet.com)