In a breakthrough development, the exact mechanism of causative of solar cells to break down is uncovered, and a potential solution provided too.
Interestingly, solar cells can harness energy from the sun and serve to an alternative to non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels. However, costly manufacturing processes and poor efficiency are some challenges that lie in the use of solar cells.
Meanwhile, perovskites are materials that are developed for next-generation solar cells. While perovskites are more flexible, and cheaper than traditional silicon-based ones with same efficiency, the presence of toxic lead substances is a downside. For this reason, newer versions of perovskites are investigated that use alternatives of lead.
In fact, the versions of perovskites that use tin instead of lead show promise but do not last long. To establish this, researchers at the University of Bath and Imperial College showed how perovskites wears down into tin iodide when exposed to moisture and oxygen, and form iodine. The iodine further helps to form more tin iodide, to cause cyclic degradation.
Besides this, the team established some more important facts. The selection of a crucial layer within perovskite can diminish wearing down under ambient conditions and augment stability. This paves way for researchers to be able to design high performance tin perovskites that are more stable, and show potential as new solar cells.
“The know-how of this mechanism will help to overcome a major roadblock for the exciting new technology. The results will also enable to craft tin perovskite materials that have higher stability, which will pave way for cheaper, and more flexible solar harvesting devices,” stated the lead researcher.