Lead free perovskites could unlock solar storage potential

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Scientists at Oxford University say two lead-free perovskites investigated for their potential to raise the efficiency of solar modules – when used in tandem with high efficiency silicon cells – may also offer a leap forward in solar storage technology.

In a paper published in Applied Physics Letters, Feliciano Giustino and George Volonakis, suggest halide double perovskites Cs2BiAgCl and Cs2BiAgBr6 may be strong candidates to drive photocatalysis – the process of harnessing solar power to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen so the two elements can be recombined in a fuel cell to release energy.

According to an article on the EurekAlert! science news website, the paper’s co-authors hypothesize the two perovskites would be much more efficient at photocatalysis than the titanium dioxide (TiO2) currently being investigated, because they absorb visible light better and thus could offer a route to commercially viable photocatalysis.

However the physicists warn their computational modelling needs to be tested under laboratory conditions, for instance the perovskites would have to form perfect crystals to offer a viable solar storage solution.