Perovskite Solar Cell Material Shows Promise in Bringing Costs Down, Efficiencies Up

Pervoskite, a hybrid of organic-inorganic materials that has a particular crystalline structure, has shown promise in creating solar cells with cost factors and efficiencies that would allow solar generated power to rival the cost of fossil fuels. According to an article on the MIT Technology Review web site, the material has made equivalent progress in development in just four years, compared to more than a decade for currently-used solar cell materials, silicon and cadmium telluride.

Unlike conventional solar cell materials, the new material doesn’t require an electric field to produce an electrical current. This reduces the amount of material needed and produces higher voltages, which can help increase power output, according to Andrew Rappe, co-director of Pennergy, a center for energy innovation at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recently, Dr. Hendrik Bolink of the Institut de Ciència Molecular (ICMol) of the Scientific Park of the University of Valencia, Spain, claimed he has developed a thin-film solar photovoltaic device using pervoskite (Perovskite solar cells employing organic charge-transport layers, according to his report.) The solar cell developed by the researchers of the ICMol consists of a thin perovskite film sandwiched in between two very thin organic semiconductors. The total thickness of the device is less than half a micrometer. The also said that their film is less toxic to make than current solar cells.

The main challenge to using pervoskite to make solar cells is the material’s durability, experts said.