Perovskite solar cells: A new paradigm in photovoltaics
The recent August issue of MRS Bulletin – a flagship journal of the Materials Research Society – is dedicated to one of hottest topics in the world of materials science: perovskite photovoltaics, which have taken the photovoltaic world by storm in recent years, promising solar cells that deliver the highest possible efficiencies at the lowest possible cost.
Guest editors Henry Snaith from the University of Oxford and Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have invited leading experts to shed light on the latest developments in this exciting field in a collection of cutting-edge articles in the August issue of MRS Bulletin.
Also included within the pages of this issue of MRS Bulletin is the most recent edition of Energy Quarterly – a special section of the Bulletin focusing on sustainable solutions to the world’s energy problems – which also turns the spotlight on perovskite photovoltaics. This latest issue features an interview with one of the leading lights in perovskite research, David Mitzi from Duke University.
In addition, a new quarterly news feature on perovskites is introduced in this issue highlighting some of the most recent breakthroughs in this fast moving field.
In their introduction to this theme issue of MRS Bulletin, Professors Snaith and Nazeeruddin explain that perovskite solar cells based on methylammonium lead triiodide have witnessed unprecedented progress since the seminal work of Miyasaka and co-workers in 2009. After key breakthroughs with solid-state perovskite photovoltaics in 2012, research efforts have grown exponentially, they write. A remarkable power-conversion efficiency of over 20% has been demonstrated thus far by optimizing the quality of the perovskite films.
Scientists from leading institutions in the US, Korea, Spain and Israel – including Stanford University, the University of California and the Universidad de Valencia – share their latest data and research in this rapidly expanding sector.
“The techniques and data presented in this issue will stimulate readers and the materials communities to further explore the amazing properties of perovskite materials, reaching the ambitious goal of reducing our dependence on non-renewable power-generating technologies,” write Snaith and Nazeeruddin. “If perovskite solar cells are proven to be a reliable technology, every house can produce its own electricity and store the surplus—or feed it back to the grid. The dream is that, eventually, the power consumer will become the producer.”
Within the pages of the MRS Bulletin, the latest issue of Energy Quarterly also features an interview with David Mitzi, who has spent much of his career at IBM focusing on perovskites and is now continuing his research at Duke University. He predicts that the efficiency of photovoltaic perovskites, which have shot up from 3.8% in 2009 to over 20% in 2014, are likely to rise as high as 30% in future – making a compelling case for commercialisation. In fact, one UK start-up predicts that perovskite-based photovoltaic cells could be on the market as early as 2017.
However, analysis by Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology’s Harald F. Krug sounds a note of caution, suggesting that there is a need for more detailed long-term studies regarding lead in metal halide perovskites
This timely collection of papers is of enormous interest to a broad range of researchers and is freely available for 30 days here.