In DepthMaterials Science

Perovskite solar cells gear up to go commercial

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Science  09 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6317, pp. 1214-1215
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6317.1214

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Cheap photovoltaic materials called perovskites are continuing their march to commercialization. At a meeting in Boston last week, researchers reported new results on tandem solar photovoltaics in which perovskite cells are layered atop conventional silicon solar cells. In this configuration, the perovskite cells absorb more bluish photons, whereas the silicon cells absorb photons toward the red end of the visible spectrum. The new tandems already generate more energy than either of the component cells by themselves. And it's expected they will continue to improve over the next year, perhaps converting as much as 30% of incoming light energy into electricity. Steady progress is also being made in making perovskites rugged and durable enough to survive in real-world conditions. If all goes well, the first commercially made perovskite-silicon tandems could be ready for field tests in 2018.