A team of researchers have brought forth a new era of solar energy panels.
Up until a few days ago, the complex solar cell material perovskite had baffled scientists. It was known to have the power to convert up to 15 percent of sunlight into energy and therefore pave the way for more efficient and affordable solar panels, yet the exact nature of the substance was relatively unknown. That is, of course, until now.
A group of interdisciplinary researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) employed ultrafast lasers to discover sunlight-generated electrons in the material can travel long distances. They then tracked how fast these perovskite materials react to light in quadrillionths of a second.
The result of this experiment was a breakthrough in knowledge: one that will allow the team to make thicker solar cells that can absorb more light, generate more electricity, and be up to five times cheaper than current silicon-based solar cells due to a simpler manufacturing process.
NTU’s research team includes Assistant Professor Sum Tze Chien and Dr Nripan Mathews (a senior scientist with ERI@N - the university's Energy Research Institute), and their discovery is hailed to transform the availability and efficiency of solar panels across the globe.
Head over to the university's website for more details on the breakthrough.
Author: Jo Wilkinson / RESET editorial