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    Mystery of High Performing Novel Solar Cells Revealed in Stunning Clarity

    An artistic representation of the electrons flowing into the high quality areas of perovskite materials. Credits: Alex T from Ella Maru Studios.

    Researchers at the University of Cambridge used a series of correlated multimodal microscopy to visualize for the first time why perovskite materials appear to be highly resistant to structural defects.Their findings were published today (November 22, 2021) Nature nanotechnology..

    The most commonly used material for manufacturing solar panels is crystalline silicon, but it is energy intensive to create the highly ordered wafer structure required for efficient energy conversion. It requires a time-consuming manufacturing process.

    Over the last decade, perovskite materials have emerged as a promising alternative.

    The lead salts used to make them are much richer and cheaper to produce than crystalline silicon, and can be prepared with liquid inks that are simply printed to produce films of the material. It also shows great potential for other optoelectronic applications such as energy efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs) and X-ray detectors.

    The impressive performance of perovskite is amazing. A typical model of a good semiconductor is a very ordered structure, but the arrangement of various chemical elements combined in perovskite creates a much more “troublesome” landscape.

    This non-uniformity causes defects in the material, creating nanoscale “traps” and degrading the photovoltaic performance of the device. However, despite the presence of these defects, perovskite materials show comparable efficiency levels to alternative silicon.

    actually, Early group study Shows that chaotic structures can actually improve the performance of perovskite optoelectronics, and their latest research seeks to explain why.

    Combining a series of new microscopy technologies, the group presents an overview of the nanoscale chemical, structural, and photoelectron landscapes of these materials, revealing complex interactions between these competing factors, and finally. Indicates which one appears above.

    “What we see is that two forms of disability occur in parallel,” explains Kyle Frohna, a PhD student. “Electronic disorders associated with defects that reduce performance and spatial chemical disorders that appear to improve them.

    “And what we have found is that chemical obstacles (in this case,” good “disorders) mitigate the” bad “disorders from defects by keeping charge carriers away from these traps.

    In collaboration with the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, Diamond light source At the Didcot Synchrotron Facility and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan, researchers used several different microscopy techniques to observe the same area of ​​the perovskite membrane. The results of all these methods can then be compared to give an overall picture of what is happening at the nanoscale level with these promising new materials.

    “The idea is to do what’s called a multimodal microscope. It’s about observing the same area of ​​a sample with multiple different microscopes and basically correlating it with the traits derived from one. It’s a very elaborate way of saying, from another, “says Frohna. “These experiments consume a lot of time and resources, but the rewards for the information that can be retrieved are great.”

    The findings will allow groups and others in this field to further refine the method of manufacturing perovskite solar cells to maximize efficiency.

    “For a long time, people have spread the term defect resistance, but this is the first time anyone has properly visualized it to understand the real meaning of defect resistance in these materials. is.

    “Knowing that these two competing obstacles affect each other, we can think of ways to effectively adjust one to mitigate the other in the most beneficial way.”

    Miguel Anaya, a researcher at the Royal Academy of Engineering in Cambridge’s Chemistry Department, said:Engineering and biotechnology

    “We have visualized and explained why these materials can be called defect tolerance. This methodology optimizes them on a nanoscale with a new route and ultimately for the application of interest. You can improve performance. Now you can see other types of perovskites that are suitable not only for solar cells but also for LEDs and detectors to understand their operating principles.

    “More importantly, we can extend the set of acquisition tools developed in this study to study other optoelectronic materials, which is of great interest to the broader materials science community. “

    “Through these visualizations, we have a better understanding of the nanoscale landscape of these fascinating semiconductors. Good, bad, ugly,” said Cambridge’s Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Sam Strunks, assistant professor at the University of Energy, said.

    “These results explain how the empirical optimization of these materials by the field has driven these mixed composition perovskites to such high performance, but they may have similar attributes. A blueprint for the design of a new semiconductor has also been revealed, where disorder can be used to tune performance. “

    Reference: “Nanoscale chemical heterogeneity governs the optoelectronic response of alloyed perovskite solar cells” November 22, 2021 Nature nanotechnology..
    DOI: 10.1038 / s41565-021-01019-7

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    The post Mystery of High Performing Novel Solar Cells Revealed in Stunning Clarity appeared first on California News Times.

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