Lead free perovskites could unlock solar storage potential


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.

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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.

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