Solar cells set a new efficiency record

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German scientists combined two types of absorbers to develop solar cells with 24% light conversion efficiency.

Developed a 24% efficient dual-panel solar panel – measured in terms of photons converted into electricity. This helps the battery to set a world record for highest efficiency with a combination of organic absorbers and perovskite materials. Research results published on April 13 in the journal Nature.

The team of scientists used a combination of two absorbent materials. The first are organic semiconductors – carbon-based compounds that can conduct electricity under certain conditions. They are coupled with perovskite, which is a lead-halogen compound with very good semiconductor properties. Producing both of these requires much less material and energy than traditional silicon batteries.

Sunlight consists of different spectral components, specifically colors, so an energy efficient panel must convert as much light into electricity as possible. Experts can do this with solar cells that double. This type of battery incorporates a variety of semiconductor materials, each of which absorbs different bands of the solar spectrum.

A thin layer of indium oxide is incorporated into the battery with a thickness of just 1.5 nanometers to keep the loss as small as possible.

Simulations by a team of experts at the University of Wuppertal show that the new method can create more efficient dual-energy panels than 30% in the future.

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