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Three Cheers for Perovskites

Perovskites are a class of crystalline mineral compounds found in several places on earth. They have recently been experimented with for possible use as a base material for solar cells and have rapidly attained efficiencies of upto 15%, comparable to conventional silicon based cells. The attraction of perovskites is that solar cells based on them are much cheaper to manufacture, and can be produced using simple evaporation techniques. Experimentation with this class of materials began only in 2008 and cell efficiency has jumped from 3 to 16%  in just 6 years. It took decades for silicon based cells to make comparable gains and despite the years of experience, are still expensive to manufacture. Many research groups around the world look on perovskites as the “next big thing” in photovoltaic technology, with theoretical efficiency gains of 30 and 40% possible using techniques used to produce multi-junction silicon based cells, but at much lower cost.

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3 Comments

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