A two-dimensional coat of a perovskite compound is the basis for an efficient solar cell that might stand up to environmental wear and tear, unlike earlier perovskites. Engineers at Rice University raised the photovoltaic efficiency of 2D perovskites by up to 18%. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
Rice University engineers have achieved a new benchmark in the design of atomically thin solar cells made of semiconducting perovskites, boosting their efficiency while retaining their ability to stand up to the environment.
The lab of Aditya Mohite of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering discovered that sunlight itself contracts the space between atomic layers in 2D perovskites enough to improve the material’s photovoltaic efficiency by up to 18%, an astounding leap in a field where progress is often measured in fractions of a percent.
“In 10 years, the efficiencies of perovskites have skyrocketed from about 3% to over 25%,” Mohite said. “Other semiconductors have taken about 60 years to get there. That’s why we’re so excited.”