University of Surrey researchers believe their new technique has produced the highest performing inverted perovskite solar cell ever recorded.

Perovskite based cells are widely expected to be the next generation of solar cells, offering similar power conversion efficiency (PCE) performance, but at a much lower cost than today’s dominant crystalline silicon based solar cells.

In a study published by Science, a team of researchers from Peking University and the Universities of Surrey, Oxford and Cambridge detail a new way to reduce an unwanted process called non-radiative recombination, where energy and efficiency is lost in perovskite solar cells.

The team created a technique called Solution-Process Secondary Growth (SSG) which increased the voltage of inverted perovskite solar cells by 100 millivolts, reaching a high of 1.21 volts without compromising the quality of the solar cell or the electrical current flowing through a device. They tested the technique on a device which recorded a PCE of 20.9 per cent, the highest certified PCE for inverted perovskite solar cells ever recorded.

Dr. Wei Zhang from the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, said, “The need for clean and sustainable energy that helps us to stop damaging our planet is what drives us at the Advanced Technology Institute. Our new technique confirms that there is a lot of promise with perovskite solar cells and we aim to explore this new and exciting area more in the future.”

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, said, “It is pleasing to see the Advanced Technology Institute join in this global project that could provide a solution to the need for a truly sustainable, cheap and clean energy resource. This was a monumental effort from leading laboratories, researchers and institutions from across the world, all working together for the common good.”

If not for the Science publication of the paper your humble writer may well have blown by this release. The release had no real info. But the paper’s abstract does. ┬áSo here is the meat and why it was published in Science. Looks like quite a breakout development.

“Here we report a strategy to reduce nonradiative recombination for the inverted devices, based on a simple solution-processed secondary growth technique. This approach produces a wider bandgap top layer and a more n-type perovskite film, which mitigates nonradiative recombination, leading to an increase in Voc by up to 100 millivolts. We achieved a high Voc of 1.21 volts without sacrificing photocurrent, corresponding to a voltage deficit of 0.41 volts at a bandgap of 1.62 electron volts. This improvement led to a stabilized power output approaching 21% at the maximum power point.”

This is really good news. There is some neutral news that comes along with it. Perovskite development has been hampered by lead used in the builds. The Surrey team is using mixed-cation lead in their hugely improved perovskite build, too. Not bad news, there are hints coming along to reduce or cut the lead out of builds. If or when these technologies merge there may be a real useful marketable product at the end of the research stage.

So congratulations are in order. Along with encouragement to stay with it, the technology is not there yet.


1 Comment so far

  1. Kaiser Derden on July 10, 2018 8:34 PM

    hardly a breakthrough … someday, maybe in a decade they can produce these cheap cells … (still not 1 Perovskite based cell ever commercially produced) and the boilerplate AGW nonsense:
    “The need for clean and sustainable energy that helps us to stop damaging our planet is what drives us at the Advanced Technology Institute.”
    does not inspire confidence … just another rent seeking “business” …

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