New material may double solar cell efficiency
In a breakthrough, scientists have identified a new crystalline material that could replace silicon and double the efficiency of solar cells without a significant cost increase.
Conventional solar cells are at most one-third efficient, a limit known to scientists as the Shockley-Queisser Limit.
The new material, a crystalline structure that contains both inorganic materials (iodine and lead) and an organic material (methyl-ammonium), boosts the efficiency so that it can carry two-thirds of the energy from light without losing as much energy to heat.
This material identified by researchers at Purdue University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US could double the amount of electricity produced without a significant cost increase.