New combination of elements a positive step forwards for KAUST solar centre and Solar panels

Perovskite PV technology has made another small step forward, with the discovery of a new combination between perovskite and glycol, granting better control over the formation of the thin-film layer, by improving the structure and alignment of the perovskite grains.

Esma Ugur, a PhD student in the KAUST Solar Centre team that observed the effect iterated that “It yields more uniform thin films with improved structure and efficiency.”

Perovskite is a material added to solar panels as a thin layer on top of panels to harvest blue light wavelengths which complement the red energy traditionally harvested by regular panels.

This combination with glycol increases the reproducibility and efficiency of the perovskites so that they performed more efficiently in solar cell applications.

The procedure also operates at lower temperatures than previous alternatives, which could lead to cost reductions in manufacturing. However, the innovation remains challenged to adapt itself to commercial applications, where the instability of the perovskites are proving a hard challenge to overcome.

Frédéric Laquai, leader of the KAUST Solar Centre team voiced the position of the firm going forward with this challenge “We have several groups in the KAUST Solar Centre working on that issue, and on other needs for future commercial development”

He highlighted that perovskites are a high priority research area for their R&D team, which has the potential to be used outside solar as well. “Perovskites have many interesting optical and electronic properties, which may make them useful for applications that we have not even thought about,”.

Laquai also was quick to emphasize the collaborative manner in which projects are directed at the KAUST solar centre, with the synergies between specialists from different field being a catalyst to the success of their research.

Author: Frederic Brown