Perovskite-based solar cell offers 24-hour benefits

March 25, 2014 //By Paul Buckley
Perovskite-based solar cell offers 24-hour benefits
A next-generation Perovskite-based solar cell that can also emit light, in addition to converting light to electricity, has been discovered by researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

The solar cell is developed from Perovskite, a material that could hold the key to creating high-efficiency, inexpensive solar cells and have an impact on LED lighting technologies. The new cells not only glow when electricity passes through them, but they can also be customized to emit different colours.

The NTU physicist Sum Tze Chien asked his postdoctoral researcher Xing Guichuan to shine a laser on the new hybrid Perovskite solar cell material they are developing and discovered the material's novel properties.

Assistant Professor Sum said to the team’s surprise, the new Perovskite solar cell glowed brightly when a laser beam was shone on it. This is a significant finding as most solar cell materials are good at absorbing light but are generally not expected to generate light. In fact, this highly luminescent new Perovskite material is also suitable for the making of lasers.

“What we have discovered is that because it is a high quality material, and very durable under light exposure, it can capture light particles and convert them to electricity, or vice versa,” said Asst Prof Sum, a Singaporean scientist at NTU’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS).

“By tuning the composition of the material, we can make it emit a wide range of colours, which also makes it suitable as a light emitting device, such as flat screen displays.”

His research partner, Assistant Professor Nripan Mathews from the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), said the new property is expected to enable the industry to feasibly adopt the material for use into existing technology.

Asst Prof Nripan Mathews holding the Perosvkite solar cell in his hand

“What we have now is a solar cell material that can be made semi-translucent. It can be used as tinted glass to replace current windows, yet it is able to generate electricity from sunlight," explained Dr Mathews, who is also


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