Perovskite is a promising material to make high-efficient electronic devices because of its tolerance towards material defects. According to the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), the defect tolerance of perovskite makes it possible to fabricate future diodes, photodetectors, and high-efficiency solar cells with cost-efficient and straightforward procedures.
Now, researchers from the University of Cambridge have unlocked the mystery behind this apparent tolerance of defects in perovskite. Their findings could potentially have considerable implications in improving the efficiency of future solar PV modules.
Microscopy Help Visualize Perovskite Materials and Their Tolerance to Defects
PV Tech reported that Cambridge scientists used new microscopic methods in visualizing perovskite materials and their ability to tolerate defects. Researchers found that this unique characteristic is operated by two forms of disorder, namely the electronic disorder and chemical disorder.
In the study titled "Nanoscale Chemical Heterogeneity Dominates the Optoelectronic Response of Alloyed Perovskite Solar Cells" published in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology, the team wrote that chemical disorder guide the charge carriers away from traps to mitigate the electronic disorder that resulted from defects.
That means the chemical disorder is the good disorder for mitigating the bad disorder from the defects, says study lead author and Ph.D. candidate Kyle Frohna.
The team also noted that perovskite still shows efficiency levels the same as polysilicon alternatives even when damaged and despite the heterogeneity in the structure of perovskite materials that lead to microscopic traps. Previous studies have also shown that the disordered and messier structure of the material can increase the performance of perovskite.
Optimizing Perovskite Material for Higher Efficiency of Solar PV Modules
In a previous report by Science Times, researchers from UC Santa Barbara have shown that "all-inorganic perovskite solar cells" have improved efficiencies of solar cells and have the potential of outperforming hybrid perovskites.
For the past 10 years, perovskite materials have become a promising alternative to silicon-based solar modules because they are cheaper and easier to make compared to polysilicon-based modules that need huge amounts of energy and time to create the highly ordered water structure.
As PV Tech reported, the findings of the study will help scientists to further examine, explore and refine making perovskite materials to maximize module conversion efficiency.
Perovskite has played a significant role in harnessing solar energy that even the US Department of Energy has funded research into developing perovskites. Meanwhile, the multinational conglomerate company Toshiba is also now exploring ways to get the most out of perovskite materials.
Furthermore, researchers from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory, the Diamond Light Source, partnered with colleagues at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology to look at the same regions of perovskite film to carry out multimodal microscopy. This method will allow new routes to optimize perovskite materials at the nanoscale for better performance in a specific targeted application.