St. Andrews University discovery could push solar cell’s theoretical efficiency limit

A team of Scientists from St. Andrews University demonstrated the cutting of a high energy photon with nanoclusters in bismuth halide, a crystalline organic/inorganic material which could be used in solar cell production.

The discovery could open up a path to exceeding the theoretical efficiency limit for a single junction solar cell, which stands at 33.7%. Cutting a high energy photon into two will increase the number of charge carriers and allow more efficient use of the solar spectrum.

“It is expected that this study will stimulate the study on materials with nanoclusters or low-dimensional organic-inorganic hybrid materials for photonic devices,” says lead researcher John Irvine. “This atomic precise subunit in crystalline materials could ease the preparation and processing of nano-sized particles, as they are controlled by the intrinsic crystal structure of the material.”