Composite perovskite film boosts solar cell efficiency

April 10, 2018 //By Nick Flaherty
Composite perovskite film boosts solar cell efficiency
Researchers in Canada have developed a composite thin film made of two different inorganic oxide materials that significantly improves the performance of solar cells.

A joint team of researchers led by Professor Federico Rosei at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), and Dr. Riad Nechache from École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), both in Montreal, Canada, have shown a cell where the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit photocurrent istunable by varying the electrical resistance of the device, which in turn is controlled by externally applying voltage pulses. This provides an alternative way of achieving highly stable, high-efficiency conversion.

The 110nm think film combines two different crystal phases comprising the atomic elements bismuth, manganese, and oxygen which absorbs a broader portion of the solar spectrum compared to the wavelengths absorbed in the thin films made of the two individual materials, improving the efficiency.

It is the interfaces, the grain boundaries, between the BiMnO 3 and BiMn 2O5 crystal phases that play a crucial role in converting more sunlight into electricity rther than the grains themselves. This provides a power conversion efficiency of up to 4.2%, which is a record value for this class of materials, although other organic perovskites tandem cells have shown 26% efficiency.

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