Super efficient perovskites are dazzling solar cell researchers

Originally posted on Gigaom:

There’s a lot of excitement about a class of materials called perovskites that promise to deliver efficient and cheap solar cells. Watching progress in perovskite research is fascinating because perovskites have been able to boost their efficiencies — the percentage of available sunlight that they convert to electricity — more rapidly than any other solar cell material that has been mass produced or being developed in labs.

In fact, efficiency figures jumped from around 10 percent to 20 percent in mere two years.

“That really takes people by surprise because this has never happened before,” Jao van de Lagemaat, center director for chemistry and nanoscience at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, told me earlier this summer. “People are making advances every week. There is always another rumor of another record being broken.”

In pursuit of lower production costs, one team at the Northern Illinois University recently demonstrated the possibility of…

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