Volume 2 Issue 1, January 2017

Volume 2 Issue 1

Wet work for perovskites

Organometal-halide perovskites are well-known for their photovoltaic performance but also their instability towards moisture. Park et al. show that by exploiting dynamic equilibrium, methylammonium lead iodide can be used to photocatalytically evolve hydrogen from aqueous hydrogen iodide solutions, harnessing solar energy to produce storable chemicals rather than electricity as in solar cells.

See Park et al. 2, 16185 (2016) and News & Views by Peter Vesborg, article 16205.


Image: Yoobin Chun. Cover design: Alex Wing.


  • Editorial |

    As we celebrate our first birthday today, we hope you'll allow us a little self-indulgent reflection.


  • Feature |

    As renewable energy industries grow, a city in England is trying to understand if cultural tourism can be used to build an energy hub.

    • Elisabeth Jeffries

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Gasoline taxes are considered to be a cost-effective policy instrument for reducing carbon emissions. A study finds that while gasoline taxes rose in 83 countries between 2003 and 2015, the global mean fell by 13.3% due to a shift in consumption towards countries that maintain gasoline subsidies or that have low taxes.

    • C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell
  • News & Views |

    Extensive efforts are under way to increase not only the efficiency but also the stability of organic-inorganic halide perovskite based solar cells. However, research shows that iodine-containing perovskites are vulnerable to a self-degradation pathway that may inherently limit their lifetime.

    • Regan G. Wilks
    •  & Marcus Bär
  • News & Views |

    Organolead halide perovskite solar absorbers demonstrate high photovoltaic efficiencies but they are notorious for their intolerance to water. Now, methylammonium lead iodide perovskites are used to harvest solar energy — in water — via photocatalytic generation of hydrogen from solutions of hydriodic acid.

    • Peter C. K. Vesborg


  • Article |

    Planar structured perovskite solar cells often show hysteresis and lower efficiency than mesoporous ones. Jiang et al. show that using a SnO2 electron transport layer improves the performance of planar devices, reporting a certified efficiency of 19.9%, and enables a lower processing temperature.

    • Qi Jiang
    • , Liuqi Zhang
    • , Haolin Wang
    • , Xiaolei Yang
    • , Junhua Meng
    • , Heng Liu
    • , Zhigang Yin
    • , Jinliang Wu
    • , Xingwang Zhang
    •  & Jingbi You
  • Article |

    Organometal halide perovskite materials have been the subject of intensive research efforts in the context of photovoltaic applications. Here the authors exploit dynamic equilibrium to photocatalytically generate hydrogen from aqueous HI solutions using methylammonium lead iodide.

    • Sunghak Park
    • , Woo Je Chang
    • , Chan Woo Lee
    • , Sangbaek Park
    • , Hyo-Yong Ahn
    •  & Ki Tae Nam
  • Article |

    Electrocatalytic water oxidation is key in energy storage technologies, but deeper mechanistic understanding is still required. Grimaud et al. show that surface oxygen atoms in a model oxide catalyst act as electrophilic centres for reactions and observe drastic reconstruction of the catalyst surface.

    • Alexis Grimaud
    • , Arnaud Demortière
    • , Matthieu Saubanère
    • , Walid Dachraoui
    • , Martial Duchamp
    • , Marie-Liesse Doublet
    •  & Jean-Marie Tarascon
  • Article |

    Perovskite solar cells grown in substrate configuration would open a range of applications, if various challenges could be overcome. Towards that aim, Fu et al. present an architecture allowing inverted semi-transparent planar perovskite solar cells with open-circuit voltage of 1.116 V and 16.1% efficiency.

    • Fan Fu
    • , Thomas Feurer
    • , Thomas Paul Weiss
    • , Stefano Pisoni
    • , Enrico Avancini
    • , Christian Andres
    • , Stephan Buecheler
    •  & Ayodhya N. Tiwari
  • Article |

    Using photoelectrodes to split water is a promising approach to convert solar energy to fuel, but photoanode stability is often an issue. Now, a Mo-doped BiVO4 photoanode is shown to stably evolve oxygen for 1,000 h due to in situ regeneration of the catalyst, and inhibition of photocorrosion.

    • Yongbo Kuang
    • , Qingxin Jia
    • , Guijun Ma
    • , Takashi Hisatomi
    • , Tsutomu Minegishi
    • , Hiroshi Nishiyama
    • , Mamiko Nakabayashi
    • , Naoya Shibata
    • , Taro Yamada
    • , Akihiko Kudo
    •  & Kazunari Domen
  • Article |

    Extensive efforts are under way to tackle the degradation issue—one of the biggest challenges for the practical application of perovskite-based solar cells. Here the authors show that CH3NH3PbI3 and several other iodine-containing perovskites are inherently unstable due to decomposition caused by self-generated I2.

    • Shenghao Wang
    • , Yan Jiang
    • , Emilio J. Juarez-Perez
    • , Luis K. Ono
    •  & Yabing Qi
  • Analysis |

    Reforms of energy markets are necessary to face the low carbon transition but are problematic to measure. New data evaluate implicit taxes and subsidies for gasoline in almost all countries at monthly intervals showing mixed results that highlight the difficulty in implementing effective policy tools.

    • Michael L. Ross
    • , Chad Hazlett
    •  & Paasha Mahdavi