University of Surrey researchers eye perovskite solar cells for the future

Tin-based perovskite cells could cut costs and allow solar power projects to take off, Surrey researchers claim

University of Surrey is researching perovskite.
University of Surrey is researching perovskite.

University of Surrey researchers are claiming that solar cells made of their tin-based perovskite, a material that is “more efficient at absorbing light than silicon and can be fabricated using solution processable inks, could "clear the runway" for solar energy to take off in the UK and help it meet its goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050.

The use of erovskite is said to be relatively inexpensive can help produce thin, semi-transparent, and flexible solar panels, while also allowing cell fabrication through roll-to-roll printing. 

Director of University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), Prof Ravi Silva, said perovskite photovoltaics "are an upcoming solar technology" that could help manufacture environment-friendly solar panels. 

He added: “Our new findings point researchers in the field to gaining higher efficiencies while reducing the toxic impact of the absorber materials.”

The findings were released in a study co-authored by Silva and Indrachapa Bandara, lead author and PhD student at ATI. 

Published by the Journal of Materials Chemistry, the study details the process of producing a solar cell containing 50% less lead by fine-tuning the university's tin-based material, thereby creating a that can absorb infrared light in a similar manner as silicon cells.

Commenting on the findings, Bandara said: “We are starting to see that many countries are treating the threat of climate change with the seriousness it deserves.

"If we are to get a handle on the problem and put the health of our planet on the right track, we need high-performing renewable energy solutions.”

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