Study finds human hair can improve performance of perovskite cells

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image: QUT.

Scientists in Australia have used human hair clippings from a Brisbane barbershop to create an ‘armour’ that increases the power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells.

The researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) used hair to create carbon dots – nanoparticles smaller than around 10 nanometres – which form a wave-like perovskite layer where the perovskite crystals are surrounded by the carbon dots.

According to lead researcher Professor Hongxia Wang, the process protects perovskite material from moisture or other environmental factors: “It creates a kind of protective layer, a kind of armour.”

Having previously found that nanostructured carbon materials could be used to improve a cell’s performance, Professor Wang’s team’s latest research discovered that perovskite solar cells covered with the carbon dots had a greater stability than perovskite cells without the carbon dots.

Professor Wang said the main challenges in perovskite solar cell production include ensuring the stability of the device so that it is able to operate for 20 years or longer, as well as the development of a manufacturing method that is suitable for large-scale production.

“Currently, all the reported high-performance perovskite solar cells have been made in a controlled environment with extremely low level of moisture and oxygen, with a very small cell area which are practically unfeasible for commercialisation. To make the technology commercially viable, challenges for fabrication of efficient large area, stable, flexible, perovskite solar panels at low cost needs to be overcome,” she added.

As part of funding announced last year by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), a team at the University of Sydney is exploring how to improve the energy-conversion efficiencies and durability of emerging silicon-perovskite photovoltaic cell technologies. Some AU$2.5 million (US$1.9 million) was awarded to the researchers as part of a wider AU$15.14 million solar research package to support projects across Australia in areas such as advanced silicon, new materials development and sustainable end-of-life management of panels.

Elsewhere, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a new approach to narrowing the search for the best candidates for long-lasting perovskite formulations. By testing less than 2% of the combinations among three components making up perovskite material, the researchers believe they have found what appears to be the “most durable” perovskite solar cell material to date.

Read Next

November 23, 2021
New architecture for solar cells that can increase power generation and reduce silver costs is closer to commercialisation after the company behind the technology secured a patent in the US.
November 23, 2021
Renewables developers and O&M provider RES has appointed two new chief executives to lead on its growth plans.
November 23, 2021
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have unlocked the mystery behind perovskite’s apparent tolerance of defects, with potentially huge implications for the future efficiency of solar PV modules
November 16, 2021
Spanish energy company Iberdrola is to provide technical and financial support to four projects that are focused on promoting the coexistence of solar plants with agriculture, livestock farming and horticulture.
November 15, 2021
UK-based researchers have secured funding to develop and test a scalable anti-soiling coating for solar modules that could reduce the frequency of cleaning cycles while improving power output.
November 4, 2021
The first manufacturing line at a 15GW solar wafer and cell manufacturing facility in Chengdu co-owned by Trina Solar and Tongwei has begun to ramp.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal