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Scientific consensus for perovskite solar cells published in Nature Energy

The so-called perovskite solar cells are on the cusp of becoming a commercial breakthrough but, despite promising results, it has been difficult to compare the scientific breakthroughs because of differences in the description of progress. Together with an international research group led by Monica Lira-Cantu (ICN2, Barcelona) as well as Eugene Katz and Mark Khenkin (Ben-Gurion University, Negev), the solar cell group at SDU NanoSYD in Sonderborg have released a statement on the description of progress in connection to the stability of perovskite solar cells. The statement is published in the highly acknowledged research magazine Nature Energy.

By Sune Holst, , 1/28/2020

When the Russian Mineralogist Lev Perovskij discovered a new mineral in the Ural Mountains back in 1839, he had no idea that this cheap mineral just 200 years later would turn out to be ideal for the fabrication of solar cells with high efficiency. Actually, perovskite can revolutionise the solar cell industry, because no other mineral has shown the same impressive progress in relation to efficiency, that is, the percentage of sunlight that is transformed to energy.

The stability must be improved

This being said, there are still challenges to face. Because even though perovskite solar cells have become just as efficient as common silicon solar cells in short time, they still lag well behind when it comes to stability and lifetime. Which is why researchers all over the world work to improve perovskite solar cells on exactly these parameters.

Missed mutual parameters for research progress

Although the scientists are closely connected and work together closely, they have been missing a mutual starting point for the description of the scientific progress; a common language, one could say, or what we in the academic world call the academic consensus. This has now been remedied. The international research group has released a statement on the description of progress in connection to the stability of perovskite solar cells. The statement is published in the highly acknowledged scientific magazine Nature Energy entitled Consensus statement for stability assessment and reporting for perovskite photovoltaics based on ISOS procedures.

Behind the not quite idiomatic, albeit meaningful, title lies a request for a higher level of consistency regarding experimental procedures and how to report progress, so that it becomes easier for other researchers to reproduce and compare test results and by this obtain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms around the degradation and short lifetime of perovskite solar cells. Researchers from the Mads Clausen Institute in Sonderborg were involved in drawing up the statement in Nature Energy.

- For many years we have been involved in the evaluation of new thin-film perovskite solar cells’ stability, which now attracts a lot of attention since the efficiency for these solar cells has taken enormous steps forward with respect to efficiency, professor Morten Madsen, head of the organic solar cell research group, says.

Assistant professor Vida Engmann continues that the research at SDU is part of a large international collaboration in which leading scientists within the field present a united front to understand the degradation mechanisms that underlie the relative short lifetime of perovskite solar cells, and to stop these mechanisms to increase the lifetime.

- This has now led to a consensus statement which means that more reliable research is being conducted within the field. You could say that we are dealing with a standardisation that preferably should give the hybrid solar cells the last push out of the laboratories and into industry, she elaborates.

You can read the full scientific article here.

Editing was completed: 28.01.2020