As the most popular renewable energy industry, the competition in the solar energy field is very fierce. Currently, the solar cells with the highest market share are silicon crystal cells such as polysilicon and monocrystalline silicon, but the Yangtze River is pushing the waves and emerging perovskite batteries are staring at them. The city is the first throne. A team of Brown University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) also worked to improve the performance of perovskite batteries and find materials to replace the toxic substance, lead.

The perovskite battery has the advantages of being cheap and easy to process, and the photoelectric conversion efficiency has also increased from 3.81% in 2009 to 22% comparable to that of a silicon crystal cell, and the recent research has increased to 26%, but in the perovskite battery The lead materials are toxic and may cause harm to organisms and the environment. Therefore, chemical material scientists are looking for ways to replace lead or detoxify.

Nitin Paddure, Brown University's electric motor professor, said, "One of the current research focuses of perovskites is to find alternatives to lead, non-toxic and stable materials, and we use computer simulations to think of a composition containing antimony, titanium and halogen (bromine or iodine). The perovskite battery is a good candidate, and we are currently testing his properties.”

Instead of directly replacing the silicon cell with a perovskite battery, the team tried to combine the two to make a "series" solar cell. In the battery design, the perovskite film is located above the silicon layer. Since the perovskite is a translucent material, it allows some light to penetrate into the underlying silicon layer, and the two can cooperate to convert more light into electrical energy.

Perovskites and silicon crystal cells have their own advantages and disadvantages. The research team hopes that the photoelectric conversion efficiency can be improved by designing materials with multiple layers and different energy gaps. Padture said that it is not intended to replace the existing silicon crystal technology. But the team is working hard to improve its performance. If we can produce a stable lead-free tandem type battery, then we will be the winner in the future, and this new material looks very good.

The researchers produced a 1.8 volt wide bandgap titanium-perovskite film that absorbed higher energy photons and other photons absorbed by the underlying silicon layer. Although the current photovoltaic efficiency is only 3.3%, far lower than that of silicon crystal cells or other perovskite cells, researchers say that this is the first time new materials have been tried and there is still much room for improvement.

Michael McGehee, a professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University in the United States, also proposed a similar battery design at the beginning of this year (2018). According to his research, the tandem cell efficiency is 10% higher than that of a normal silicon cell. This may be a perovskite. One of the ways in which materials are tapped into the market.

This is not the first time researchers have looked for alternatives to lead, but the team stated that this titanium is more, it is also more resistant to rust, and it provides more voltage than other materials. In other lead-free materials experiments, the open-circuit voltage is usually only 0.6 volts, and tin metal will encounter rust problems.

The open circuit voltage is the voltage between the positive and negative poles of the battery when the battery is under no load. Padture said that this voltage is usually used to assess the potential of solar cell materials, such a high voltage in the beginning, the future should be full of promise.

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