Scientists at Monash University, in collaboration with colleagues from the universities of Wollongong and Ulm in Germany, have produced tandem dye-sensitised solar cells with a three-fold increase in energy conversion efficiency compared with previously reported tandem dye-sensitised solar cells.
Lead researcher Dr Udo Bach, from Monash University, said the breakthrough had the potential to increase the energy generation performance of the cells and make them a viable and competitive alternative to traditional silicon solar cells.
Dr Bach said the key was the discovery of a new, more efficient type of dye that made the operation of inverse dye-sensitised solar cells much more efficient.
When the research team combined two types of dye-sensitised solar cell – one inverse and the other classic – into a simple stack, they were able to produce for the first time a tandem solar cell that exceeded the efficiency of its individual components.
"The tandem approach – stacking many solar cells together – has been successfully used in conventional photovoltaic devices to maximise energy generation, but there have been obstacles in doing this with dye-sensitised cells because there has not been a method for creating an inverse system that would allow dye molecules to efficiently pass on positive charges to a semiconductor when illuminated with light," Dr Bach said.
"Inverse dye-sensitised solar cells are the key to producing dye-sensitised tandem solar cells, but the challenge has been to find a way to make them perform more effectively. By creating a way of making inverse dye-sensitised solar cells operate very efficiently we have opened the way for dye-sensitised tandem solar cells to become a commercial reality."
Although dye-sensitised solar cells have been the focus of research for a number of years because they can be fabricated with relative simplicity and cost-efficiency, their effectiveness has not been on par with high-performance silicon solar cells.
Dr Bach said the breakthrough, which is detailed in a paper published in Nature Materials, was an important milestone in the ongoing development of viable and efficient solar cell technology.
"While this new tandem technology is still in its early infancy, it represents an important first step towards the development of the next generation of solar cells that can be produced at low cost and with energy efficient production methods," he said.
"With this innovation we are one step closer to the creation of a cost-efficient and carbon-neutral energy source."
For further comment please call Dr Udo Bach on 03 9905 5343 or call Jane Castles, Monash University Media and Communications, on +61 3 9903 4842 or 0417 568 781.
Jane Castles | EurekAlert!
Researchers pave the way for ionotronic nanodevices
23.02.2017 | Aalto University
Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor
22.02.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News