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    Editors note:  this is a promising idea, sought to utilize for a number of years, let’s hope this will mean getting Perovskites used in solar cells in a fast track to production time. – Agcat

    Perovskites for solar cells.  Can silicon be replaced ?

    Work by a team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory using the lab’s high-powered “electron camera” on a solar cell material that could replace silicon was first announced Wednesday in Science Advances, a journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

     Responds to light within trillionths of a second  – Perovskite

    The team used the electron camera to show how atoms in perovskites respond to light within trillionths of a second, according to SLAC publicist Andrew Gordon. Perovskite is a mineral that, like silicon, has crystalline components that allow it to absorb sunlight and generate electricity, but little is known about why the material is so efficient. According to a SLAC news release, perovskites could eventually outperform silicon.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory researchers Xijie Wang, from left, Aaron Lindenberg and Xiaoxi Wu are shown at the lab’s experimental station for ultrafast electron diffraction. They are on a team researching next-generation solar materials, which could significantly bring down the cost and boost efficiency of solar projects (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

       SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory researchers Xijie Wang, from left, Aaron Lindenberg and Xiaoxi Wu are shown at the lab’s experimental station for ultrafast electron diffraction. They are on a team researching next-generation solar materials, which could significantly bring down the cost and boost efficiency of solar projects (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

    “We’ve taken a step toward solving the mystery,” said Aaron Lindenberg from the Stanford Institute for Material and Energy Sciences and the Stanford PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Science, which are jointly operated by Stanford and SLAC.

    The team found in experiments that perovskite atoms react in an unusual manner when hit with light, a manner that appears to allow them to harvest light very efficiently. “This response to light could enhance energy efficiency, for instance by allowing electric charges to migrate through defects and protecting them from being trapped in the material,” said Xiaoxi Wu, the study’s lead author.

    Perovskite systems could also be less expensive, because unlike silicon crystals that must be grown in a lab, perovskites can be immediately produced by mixing chemicals into a solvent, which also unlike silicon can immediately be applied “to virtually any surface,” Wu said.

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