More Progress On Perovskite Solar Cells

Team members Madeleine Laitz, left, and lead author Dane deQuilettes stand in front of a tidy lab bench equipped with oscilloscopes and computers. Laitz has a snazzy yellow jacket that pops compared to the neutrals and blues of the rest of the picture.

Perovskites hold enormous promise for generating solar energy, with the potential to provide lighter and cheaper cells than those made from silicon. Unfortunately, the material breaks down too rapidly to be practical for most applications. But thanks to some recent research, we now have a better understanding of the nanoscale changes that happen during this breakdown, and how to combat it.

The research is focused on the topic of passivation, which seeks to increase the useful lifespan of perovskites by studying the surface interface where they meet other materials. Most of the perovskite material is a perfect latticework of atoms, but this structure is broken at the surface. This atomically “jagged” interface introduces losses which only get worse over time. Currently, the best way to address this issue is to essentially seal the surface with a very thin layer of hexylammonium bromide.

While this technique significantly simplified the passivation process when it was discovered, the effect had yet to be adequately characterized to further advance the field. According to lead author, [Dane deQuilettes], “This is the first paper that demonstrates how to systematically control and engineer surface fields in perovskites.”

Prefer to roll your own cells? How about a DIY dye sensitized cell or this thermionic converter model?

20 thoughts on “More Progress On Perovskite Solar Cells

      1. Principle investigator and her work doing minion.

        She’s pissed. He was supposed to make himself presentable. She is trying very hard for the mastermind vibe, he’s screwing it all up. Grant committees will see that pic.

        What kind of bond villain has such scruffy help?
        Elon wouldn’t tolerate it. Looks like he works for scooby-snacks. I bet that shirt strobes in video.

        I suggest she get her staff matching coveralls w large bold logo.

          1. It’s all about the funds.
            I’d say either is correct.
            Depending on the individual.
            When was the last time said investigator did science?

            They should give ‘principle investigator’ title to head grant writer. That might be the PI.

  1. “Unfortunately, the material breaks down too rapidly to be practical for most applications. ”

    Sealing against all things environment has been my understanding. Should lead to cheaper cells and mitigate a monopoly.

  2. G.D. grad students, can’t be bothered to put on a tie.

    The PI spent the time to read his paper (before taking credit) and wore a jacket.
    He just shows up for the photo shoot, dressed like a hobo, 2 days stubble.
    Does he think grants are delivered by the stork?

    Cameraman needs better/more/a light(s).
    What brand of scope is that? Top center. Is that windows?

    1. I experienced a feeling of scope envy too until I zoomed in and saw what looked like Windows running on it, then my bottom of the range Rigol suddenly looked attractive.

    2. I mean, honestly. How does he expect people to take him seriously as a knowledge worker if he isn’t even displaying his neck tourniquet?

      If anyone reading this can’t take a man seriously without seeing him in a tie, that sounds like a YOU problem. Then again, I can’t imagine my opinion will matter to you — I mean, I can’t even REMEMBER the last time I powdered this wig…

      1. If a reader absolutely needs there to be one noose per neck, they can always wear extras to average it out. And if they’re the sort who also thinks heels, hose, and makeup should be mandatory for women in the same scenario, then perhaps the extras will be enthusiastically provided and installed.

  3. Thank goodness you managed to look past the triviality of the science and focus on the really important issue of their physical appearance. We’d be really lost without your contribution to human progress. Thank you soooo much.

  4. That is nice that you’re able to reduce the footprint however still can’t overcome ohm’s law and it can only use some 10% of the power it’s produced once it’s hooked to grid or battery

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