A new paper by University of Notre Dame researchers describes their investigations of the fundamental optical properties of a new class of semiconducting materials known as organic-inorganic "hybrid" perovskites.
The research was conducted at the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory by Joseph Manser, a doctoral student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, under the direction of Prashant Kamat, Rev. John A. Zahm Professor of Science. The findings appear in a paper in the August 10 edition of the journal Nature Photonics.
The term "perovskites" refers to the structural order these materials adopt upon drying and assembling in the solid state.
"Hybrid perovskites have recently demonstrated exceptional performance in solid-state thin film solar cells, with light-to-electricity conversion efficiencies approaching nearly 20 percent," Manser said.
"Though currently only at the laboratory scale, this efficiency rivals that of commercial solar cells based on polycrystalline silicon. More importantly, these materials are extremely easy and cheap to process, with much of the device fabrication carried out using coating and or printing techniques that are amenable to mass production. This is in stark contrast to most commercial photovoltaic technologies that require extremely high purity materials, especially for silicon solar cells, and energy-intensive, high-temperature processing."
Manser points out that although the performance of perovskite solar cells has risen dramatically in only a few short years, the scientific community does not yet fully know how these unique materials interact with light on a fundamental level.
Manser and Kamat used a powerful technique known as "transient absorption pump-probe spectroscopy" to examine the events that occur trillions of a second after light absorption in the hybrid methylammonium lead iodide, a relevant material for solar applications.
They analyzed both the relaxation pathway and spectral broadening in photoexcited hybrid methylammonium lead iodide and found that the excited state is primarily composed of separate and distinct electrons and holes known as "free carriers."
"The fact that these separated species are present intrinsically in photoexcited hybrid methylammonium lead iodide provides a vital insight into the basic operation of perovskite solar cells," Manser said. "Since the electron and hole are equal and opposite in charge, they often exist in a bound or unseparated form known as an 'exciton.' Most next-generation' photovoltaics based on low-temperature, solution-processable materials are unable to perform the function of separating these bound species without intimate contact with another material that can extract one of the charges. "
This separation process siphons energy within the light absorbing layer and restricts the device architecture to one of highly interfacial surface area. As a result, the overall effectiveness of the solar cell is reduced.
"However, from our study, we now know that the photoexcited charges in hybrid perovskites exist in an inherently unbound state, thereby eliminating the additional energy loss associated with interfacial change separation," Manser said. "These results indicate that hybrid perovskites represent a 'best of both worlds' scenario, and have the potential to mitigate the compromise between low-cost and high-performance in light-harvesting devices."
Although the research was on the fundamental optical and electronic properties of hybrid perovskites, it does have direct implications for device applications. Understanding how these materials behave under irradiation is necessary if they are to be fully optimized in light-harvesting assemblies.
Manser and Kamat's research was supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Science.
Joseph Manser | Eurek Alert!
Lowering the Heat Makes New Materials Possible While Saving Energy
26.09.2016 | Penn State Materials Research Institute
Scientists Find Twisting 3-D Raceway for Electrons in Nanoscale Crystal Slices
26.09.2016 | Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.
In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...
Every three years, the plastics industry gathers at K, the international trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will also be attending again and presenting many innovative technologies, such as for joining plastics and metals using ultrashort pulse lasers. From October 19 to 26, you can find the Fraunhofer ILT at the joint Fraunhofer booth SC01 in Hall 7.
K is the world’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. As in previous years, the organizers are expecting 3,000 exhibitors and more than...
23.09.2016 | Event News
20.09.2016 | Event News
16.09.2016 | Event News
26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences
26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences
26.09.2016 | Materials Sciences