Australia National University hits new perovskite efficiency record

Sep 3, 2019 05:50 PM ET
  • Scientists at the institution have achieved 21.6% efficiency with a perovskite cell measuring 1cm². The landmark has been verified as a new world record for perovskites at this size.
Australia National University hits new perovskite efficiency record
Image: Lannon Harley/ANU
Australia National University has set a new efficiency record of 21.6% for a single junction perovskite solar cell measuring 1cm².

The record was previously held by South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, which achieved 22.1% on a smaller perovskite cell in 2017 but topped out at 19.7% when scaled up to a square centimeter.

The Best Research Cell Efficiencies chart published by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory has listed another perovskite cell, jointly developed by the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology and MIT, at 25.2%, but further details do not appear to have been published yet.

“When they’re very small it’s difficult to measure them accurately and it’s not necessarily representative of what would happen if you scaled up,” said ANU associate professor Thomas White. “So our result is the highest on a scale that many consider the minimum: one square centimeter.”

Engineered nanostructure

The latest record setting cell relies on a specially engineered material with a nanostructure that enables high voltage and current. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Photovoltaics Performance Laboratory certified Australia National University’s efficiency record.

The ANU study received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

White went on to note the remaining challenge for perovskites is stability and proving they can match industry expectations for a 25 to 30-year operational lifetime. The associate professor said the university’s ultimate aim is to combine its perovskites into a tandem device with silicon – a target several companies are bringing closer to reality, with planned production lines ramping up in various locations.

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