Solar cells

Definition

Solar cells are devices for converting sunlight into electricity. Their primary element is often a semiconductor which absorbs light to produce carriers of electrical charge. An applied electric field can then sweep these carriers out of the semiconductor, thus producing an electrical current.

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  • Comments and Opinion | | open

    When translating photovoltaic technology from laboratory to commercial products, low cost, high power conversion efficiency, and high stability (long lifetime) are the three key metrics to consider in addition to other factors, such as low toxicity, low energy payback time, etc. As one of the most promising photovoltaic materials with high efficiency, today organic–inorganic metal halide perovskites draw tremendous attention from fundamental research, but their practical relevance still remains unclear owing to the notorious short device operation time. In this comment, we discuss the stability issue of perovskite photovoltaics and call for standardized protocols for device characterizations that could possibly match the silicon industrial standards.

    • Lei Meng
    • , Jingbi You
    •  & Yang Yang
  • News and Views |

    Two-terminal all-perovskite tandem structures are promising as low-cost yet highly efficient solar cells, but their development is limited by the poor quality of the low bandgap absorber layer. Now, a processing method has been shown to enable the production of uniform, thick tin–lead perovskite layers, which translate into improved photovoltaic parameters.

    • Henk J. Bolink
    Nature Energy 3, 1027–1028