Reporting standards

Journal name:
Nature Nanotechnology
Volume:
10,
Page:
909
Year published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.275
Published online

A checklist for solar cell articles.

In January 2015, Nature Nanotechnology introduced a checklist for life sciences manuscripts1, which was intended to improve the quality of reporting in these articles. We, together with other Nature journals, are now introducing a reporting checklist for manuscripts on photovoltaic devices (available at http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/solarchecklist.pdf). We hope that this will, similarly, help improve transparency and reproducibility in the reporting of results on these devices.

The checklist, which has been developed over the last few months through discussions between Nature journal editors and researchers in the community, provides a list of key points regarding the characterization of such devices. These points include the current–voltage scan conditions, the dimensions of the tested solar cells, the number of cells tested, and whether a mask or aperture was used in the measurements; this information should in turn be included in the main text, Methods section or Supplementary Information of the manuscript. We will ask authors of relevant papers to complete the checklist if their work is sent for external peer review, and the completed checklist will be shared with the referees (though it will not be published).

The checklist also asks authors to clarify whether the performance of their device has been independently certified by an institution, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) or the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, that tests cells under standard conditions. While certification is not currently a requirement for publication in Nature Nanotechnology, we strongly encourage authors to provide certified efficiency values when possible2.

The introduction of this checklist has been driven by concerns in the photovoltaics community over the reporting of device performances and debate over best practices in the field3. Concerns have, in particular, been raised over the accuracy of reported power-conversion efficiency values of hybrid organic–inorganic perovskite solar cells4, 5, issues that have emerged primarily because of a hysteresis in the current–voltage curves of the devices6. Care and clarity are key when measuring and reporting the performance of these, and other, photovoltaic devices. The reporting checklist will, we hope, assist in these endeavours.

References

  1. Nature Nanotech. 9, 949 (2014).
  2. Nature Nanotech. 9, 657 (2014).
  3. http://www.nature.com/nnano/focus/photovoltaics-performance/index.html
  4. Nature Mater. 13, 837 (2014).
  5. Christians, J. A., Manser, J. S. & Kamat, P. V. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6, 852857 (2015).
  6. Snaith, H. et al. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 5, 15111515 (2014).

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