Journal: Science Advances
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Catching electrons while they are still hot
A new experimental technique will allow scientists to optimize the choice of materials for extracting energy that is currently wasted in current solar cells, thereby boosting their power conversion efficiencies.
Solar cells convert light into electricity, but about three-quarters of the light energy is lost as heat. A major source of this waste heat is ‘hot electrons’ — fast-moving electrons produced by energetic photons. These electrons lose their excess energy before it can be harnessed.
Now, a team led by led by researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, used ultrashort laser pulses to excite electrons in a promising solar-cell material called perovskite. They then studied how the generated hot electrons behaved.
The insights gleaned will be useful for selecting the best material to extract the energy from hot electrons generated in perovskite.
- Science Advances 5, eaax3620 (2019). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax3620