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Super efficient perovskites are dazzling solar cell researchers

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Materials called perovskites promise to deliver efficient and cheap solar cells. Progress in perovskite research is more rapid than any other solar cell material that has been mass produced or being developed in labs. In fact, efficiency figures have jumped from around 10 percent to 20 percent in mere two years.

“That really takes people by surprise because this has never happened before,” Jao van de Lagemaat, centre director for chemistry and nanoscience at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, told me earlier this summer. “People are making advances every week. There is always another rumor of another record being broken.”

In pursuit of lower production costs  Oxford Photovoltaics, a U.K. startup that hopes to be among the first to commercialise its perovskite technology, is experimenting with tin. Other candidates include bismuth and cesium.

Oxford  PVexpects to commercialize its technology in 2017. Read more

Joanna Grant