Efficient, stable silicon tandem cells enabled by anion-engineered wide-bandgap perovskites

Journal: Science

Published: 2020-04-10

DOI: 10.1126/science.aba3433

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 20

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Research Highlight

Superior solar through anion engineering

© dowell/Getty

© dowell/Getty

Careful chemical tuning could offer a way to create ultrahigh-efficiency solar cells that combine two photovoltaic materials in a single structure.

Perovskites are a new photovoltaic technology with light-harvesting efficiencies that rival silicon cells. Rather than compete with silicon technology, a perovskite layer could be coated onto silicon, forming a tandem solar cell that captures more solar energy than either photovoltaic material could achieve alone.

The ideal perovskite for a tandem cell would be made from a mixture of iodine and bromine, to tune its light-capturing ability to perfectly complement silicon’s solar absorption. However, exposure to sunlight tends to cause the iodine and bromine to migrate through the perovskite, reducing its working lifetime.

A team that included KAIST scientists has used anion engineering to develop a separator substance that keeps neighbouring perovskite sheets apart, limiting migration. An optimized anion mixture gave a stable tandem cell that captured solar energy with an efficiency has high as 26%.

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  1. Science 368, 155–160 (2020). doi: 10.1126/science.aba3433
Institutions Share
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), United States of America (USA) 0.32
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea 0.30
Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea 0.15
Northwestern University (NU), United States of America (USA) 0.10
Sejong University, South Korea 0.08
University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder), United States of America (USA) 0.04
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), United States of America (USA) 0.02