Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Light 'relaxes' crystal to boost solar cell efficiency: Rice, Los Alamos discovery advances case for perovskite-based solar cells

Constant illumination was found to relax the lattice of a perovskite-like material, making it more efficient at collecting sunlight and converting it to energy. The stable material was tested for solar cell use by scientists at Rice University and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
CREDIT
Light to Energy Team/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Constant illumination was found to relax the lattice of a perovskite-like material, making it more efficient at collecting sunlight and converting it to energy. The stable material was tested for solar cell use by scientists at Rice University and Los Alamos National Laboratory. CREDIT Light to Energy Team/Los Alamos National Laboratory

Abstract:
Some materials are like people. Let them relax in the sun for a little while and they perform a lot better.

Light 'relaxes' crystal to boost solar cell efficiency: Rice, Los Alamos discovery advances case for perovskite-based solar cells

Houston, TX | Posted on April 6th, 2018

A collaboration led by Rice University and Los Alamos National Laboratory found that to be the case with a perovskite compound touted as an efficient material to collect sunlight and convert it into energy.

The researchers led by Aditya Mohite, a staff scientist at Los Alamos who will soon become a professor at Rice; Wanyi Nie, also a staff scientist at Los Alamos, and lead author and Rice graduate student Hsinhan (Dave) Tsai discovered that constant illumination relaxes strain in perovskite's crystal lattice, allowing it to uniformly expand in all directions.

Expansion aligns the material's crystal planes and cures defects in the bulk. That in turn reduces energetic barriers at the contacts, making it easier for electrons to move through the system and deliver energy to devices.

This not only improves the power conversion efficiency of the solar cell, but also does not compromise its photostability, with negligible degradation over more than 1,500 hours of operation under continuous one-sun illumination of 100 milliwatts per cubic centimeter.

The research, which appears this week in Science, represents a significant step toward stable perovskite-based solar cells for next generation solar-to-electricity and solar-to-fuel technologies, according to the researchers.

"Hybrid perovskite crystal structures have a general formula of AMX3, where A is a cation, M is a divalent metal and X is a halide," Mohite said. "It's a polar semiconductor with a direct band gap similar to that of gallium arsenide.

"This endows perovskites with an absorption coefficient that is nearly an order of magnitude larger than gallium arsenide (a common semiconductor in solar cells) across the entire solar spectrum," he said. "This implies that a 300-nanometer thick film of perovskites is sufficient to absorb all the incident sunlight. By contrast, silicon is an indirect band gap material that requires 1,000 times more material to absorb the same amount of sunlight."

Mohite said researchers have long sought efficient hybrid perovskites that are stable in sunlight and under ambient environmental conditions.

"Through this work, we demonstrated significant progress in achieving both of these objectives," he said. "Our triple-cation-based perovskite in a cubic lattice shows excellent temperature stability at more than 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit)."

The researchers modeled and made more than 30 semiconducting, iodide-based thin films with perovskite-like structures: Crystalline cubes with atoms arranged in regular rows and columns. They measured their ability to transmit current and found that when soaked with light, the energetic barrier between the perovskite and the electrodes largely vanished as the bonds between atoms relaxed.

They were surprised to see that the barrier remained quenched for 30 minutes after the light was turned off. Because the films were kept at a constant temperature during the experiments, the researchers were also able to eliminate heat as a possible cause of the lattice expansion.

Measurements showed the "champion" hybrid perovskite device increased its power conversion efficiency from 18.5 percent to 20.5 percent. On average, all the cells had a raised efficiency above 19 percent. Mohite said perovskites used in the study were 7 percent away from the maximum possible efficiency for a single-junction solar cell.

He said the cells' efficiency was nearly double that of all other solution-processed photovoltaic technologies and 5 percent lower than that of commercial silicon-based photovoltaics. They retained 85 percent of their peak efficiency after 800 hours of continuous operation at the maximum power point, and their current density showed no photo-induced degradation over the entire 1,500 hours.

"This work will accelerate the scientific understanding required to achieve perovskite solar cells that are stable," Mohite said. "It also opens new directions for discovering phases and emergent behaviors that arise from the dynamical structural nature, or softness, of the perovskite lattice."

The lead researchers indicated the study goes beyond photovoltaics as it connects, for the first time, light-triggered structural dynamics with fundamental electronic transport processes. They anticipate it will lead to technologies that exploit light, force or other external triggers to tailor the properties of perovskite-based materials.

Co-authors of the paper are research scientist Bo Chen, Rafael Verduzco, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, and Pulickel Ajayan, chair of the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry, all of Rice; graduate student Reza Asadpour and Muhammad Ashraf Alam, the Jai N. Gupta Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, of Purdue University; research scientists Jean-Christophe Blancon, Sergei Tretiak and Wanyi Nie of Los Alamos; research assistant professor Constantinos Stoumpos and Mercouri Kanatzidis, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University; Jacky Even and Olivier Durand, professors of physics at the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Rennes, France, and Joseph Strzalka, a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory.

This work was supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its Basic Energy Sciences office.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth

713-348-6327

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Read the abstract at :

Ajayan Research Group:

Verduzco Lab:

Light to Energy Team (Mohite Lab):

Rice Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering:

George R. Brown School of Engineering:

Related News Press

News and information

Synopsys and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Collaborate to Develop Industry’s First Automotive Grade 1 IP for 22FDX Process: Synopsys’ Portfolio of DesignWare Foundation, Analog, and Interface IP Accelerate ISO 26262 Qualification for ADAS, Powertrain, 5G, and Radar Automotive SoCs February 22nd, 2019

With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles: The researchers' findings 'open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,' an area of great interest to chemists February 21st, 2019

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells February 21st, 2019

What happens to magnetic nanoparticles once in cells? February 21st, 2019

Laboratories

Helping smartphones hold their charge longer February 6th, 2019

Platinum forms nano-bubbles: Technologically important noble metal oxidises more readily than expected January 28th, 2019

Taking magnetism for a spin: Exploring the mysteries of skyrmions January 23rd, 2019

Revealing hidden spin: Unlocking new paths toward high-temperature superconductors: Berkeley Lab researchers uncover insights into superconductivity, leading potentially to more efficient power transmission January 4th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NRL, AFRL develop direct-write quantum calligraphy in monolayer semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA February 14th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Possible Futures

Synopsys and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Collaborate to Develop Industry’s First Automotive Grade 1 IP for 22FDX Process: Synopsys’ Portfolio of DesignWare Foundation, Analog, and Interface IP Accelerate ISO 26262 Qualification for ADAS, Powertrain, 5G, and Radar Automotive SoCs February 22nd, 2019

With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles: The researchers' findings 'open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,' an area of great interest to chemists February 21st, 2019

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells February 21st, 2019

What happens to magnetic nanoparticles once in cells? February 21st, 2019

Discoveries

With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles: The researchers' findings 'open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,' an area of great interest to chemists February 21st, 2019

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells February 21st, 2019

What happens to magnetic nanoparticles once in cells? February 21st, 2019

High-speed surveillance in solar cells catches recombination red-handed: Researchers at Osaka University introduce a new time-resolved microscopy method that allows them to monitor the trajectories of fast-moving charged particles at unprecedented rates February 21st, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials' properties: New system of 'strain engineering' can change a material's optical, electrical, and thermal properties February 11th, 2019

Sound and light trapped by disorder February 8th, 2019

Announcements

Synopsys and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Collaborate to Develop Industry’s First Automotive Grade 1 IP for 22FDX Process: Synopsys’ Portfolio of DesignWare Foundation, Analog, and Interface IP Accelerate ISO 26262 Qualification for ADAS, Powertrain, 5G, and Radar Automotive SoCs February 22nd, 2019

With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles: The researchers' findings 'open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,' an area of great interest to chemists February 21st, 2019

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells February 21st, 2019

What happens to magnetic nanoparticles once in cells? February 21st, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

With nanopore sensing, VCU physics researchers detect subtle changes in single particles: The researchers' findings 'open the door to observe all kinds of interesting phenomenon on nanosurfaces,' an area of great interest to chemists February 21st, 2019

Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells February 21st, 2019

What happens to magnetic nanoparticles once in cells? February 21st, 2019

High-speed surveillance in solar cells catches recombination red-handed: Researchers at Osaka University introduce a new time-resolved microscopy method that allows them to monitor the trajectories of fast-moving charged particles at unprecedented rates February 21st, 2019

Energy

High-speed surveillance in solar cells catches recombination red-handed: Researchers at Osaka University introduce a new time-resolved microscopy method that allows them to monitor the trajectories of fast-moving charged particles at unprecedented rates February 21st, 2019

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Molecular Lego blocks: Chemical data mining boosts search for new organic semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Helping smartphones hold their charge longer February 6th, 2019

Research partnerships

Synopsys and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Collaborate to Develop Industry’s First Automotive Grade 1 IP for 22FDX Process: Synopsys’ Portfolio of DesignWare Foundation, Analog, and Interface IP Accelerate ISO 26262 Qualification for ADAS, Powertrain, 5G, and Radar Automotive SoCs February 22nd, 2019

CEA-Leti & Stanford Target Edge-AI Apps with Breakthrough Memory Cell: Paper at ISSCC 2019 Presents Proof-of-Concept Multi-Bit Chip That Overcomes NVM’s Read/Write, Latency and Integration Challenges February 20th, 2019

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Solar/Photovoltaic

High-speed surveillance in solar cells catches recombination red-handed: Researchers at Osaka University introduce a new time-resolved microscopy method that allows them to monitor the trajectories of fast-moving charged particles at unprecedented rates February 21st, 2019

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists: Rutgers-led research could lead to advances in lighting and solar cells February 18th, 2019

Self-assembling nanomaterial offers pathway to more efficient, affordable harnessing of solar power: The new materials produce a singlet fission reaction that creates more and extends the life of harvestable electronic charges January 24th, 2019

Shelley Claridge, an assistant professor at Purdue University, is leading research to improve electronic and energy conversion devices. (Image by Vincent Walter) January 24th, 2019

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project