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Scientists make breakthrough solar technology

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Posted October 22, 2013

In the near future, solar panels will not only be more efficient but also a lot cheaper and affordable for everyone, thanks to research by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists.

Scientists make breakthrough solar technology
Prof Subodh Mhaisalkar (left) and Dr Nripan Mathews (right) are holding the new Perosvkite solar cells made in NTU labs and hopes to develop into a solar cell module, as held by Prof Sum Tze Chien (centre).
This next generation solar cell, made from organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite materials, is about five times cheaper than current thin-film solar cells, due to a simpler solution-based manufacturing process.

Perovskite is known to be a remarkable solar cell material as it can convert up to 15 per cent of sunlight to electricity, close to the efficiency of the current solar cells, but scientists did not know why or how, until now.

In a paper published last Friday (18 Oct) in the world’s most prestigious academic journal, Science, NTU’s interdisciplinary research team was the first in the world to explain this phenomenon.

The team of eight researchers led by Assistant Professor Sum Tze Chien and Dr Nripan Mathews had worked closely with NTU Visiting Professor Michael Grätzel, who currently holds the record for perovskite solar cell efficiency of 15 per cent, and is a co-author of the paper. Prof Grätzel, who is based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), has won multiple awards for his invention of dye-sensitised solar cells.

Read more at: Phys.org

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