“We still need to optimize the silicon cells for this process,” said Baldo, as these cells can be signficantly thinner and lighter than current versions. Work also needs to be done on stabilizing the materials for a longer lifetime. Overall, commercial applications are probably still a few years off, the team says.
This compares to tandem cells which typically place a perovskite cellon top of the silicon. “They’re building one cell on top of another. Fundamentally, we’re making one cell — we’re kind of turbocharging the silicon cell. We’re adding more current into the silicon, as opposed to making two cells,” said Baldo.