• A research work from Iowa State University has claimed 11.8% power conversion efficiency for inorganic perovskite solar cells
  • They tweaked the make up the perovskite material to achieve their results
  • The research entailed replacing organic components with inorganic materials that ensured stability at high temperatures of as much as 200º Celsius
  • Vapor deposition technique to build the perovskite material a few billionths of a meter also aided in the research findings

Researchers from the Iowa State University have figured a power conversion efficiency level of 11.8% for new inorganic perovskite solar cells by stabilizing the cells at high temperatures. The results  were published in a research paper in scientific journal American Chemical Society Applied Energy Materials.

“Our perovskite solar cells show no thermal degradation even at 200ºC (390ºF) for over 3 days, temperatures far more than what the solar cell would have to endure in real-world environments,” Harshavardhan Gaonkar, one of the authors.

The team says it tweaked the makeup of the perovskite material by doing away with organic components namely cations, materials with extra protons and a positive charge, and substituting these for inorganic materials as cesium bringing in material stability at higher temperatures.

Another change they made was introduce a fabrication technique to build the perovskite material using a vapor deposition technique which is consistent without any contaminants. Since a similar technique is used by other industries it has the potential to be scaled up for commercial production, they said.

They also tried replacing iodine with bromine for their research ensuring perovskite cells were much less sensitive to moisture but then this reduced their efficiency and their ability to work in tandem with silicon cells. The team is now looking forward to enhance the efficiency level further.

An Iowa State University Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and the director of Iowa State’s Microelectronics Research Center, Vikram Dalal said, “We are now trying to optimize this cell­­—we want to make it more efficient at converting solar energy into electricity. We still have a lot of research to do, but we think we can get there by using new combinations of materials.”