Sandra Henderson

Aug 072017
 
Researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) have shown how bismuth could present a non-toxic alternative to lead in next-generation, low-cost solar cells. Only a few years into the exploration of lead-based hybrid halide perovskites in laboratories around the world, the remarkable properties of these materials have researchers abuzz with hope for a new generation of cheap and easy-to-make, high-performance solar cells. But the controversial lead content could pose a barrier to their...
Aug 022017
 
Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with fellow scientists from Taiwan and Japan, have laterally placed single layers of the semiconducting materials tungsten selenide and molybdenum sulfide to form atomically sharp monolayer junctions between semiconductors. The new approach could help to mitigate contaminants and defects that can occur at the interfaces of vertically stacked layers in ultrathin electronic...
Jul 242017
 
A concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system developed at Penn State, Pennsylvania (US), tracks the sun with nearly unnoticeable movement. The microcells convert 600-times concentrated sunlight with 30% efficiency, daily producing more than 50% more energy than an average silicon solar cell.  “In contrast to conventional CPV systems that track by rotating to face the sun, our system remains at fixed tilt and tracks the sun by translating the solar cells laterally,” says...
Jul 242017
 
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia (US), have developed a new low-temperature meniscus-assisted solution printing (MASP) technique that can boost power conversion efficiencies of perovskite solar cells to nearly 20%. “We realize the solution printing of high-quality metal halide perovskite thin films at low temperature by manipulating the solvent evaporation at the concave-shaped meniscus ink, leading to the growth of microscale perovskite...
Jul 212017
 
A new five-junction, mechanically stacked solar cell developed at The George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, District of Columbia (US), can capture nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum. With a 44.5% conversion efficiency, its creators believe the new design has the potential to become the world’s most efficient solar cell.  The cell is designed for concentrated photovoltaics applications. Comprising a commercial, GaAs-based three-junction solar cell stacked...
Jul 042017
 
Researchers from RMIT University in Australia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have developed a solar paint that harvests hydrogen from moisture in the air by splitting water molecules. “The paint is a photo-catalytic material,” explains Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh in the RMIT School of Engineering. “It means that it can split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen molecules, when it receives energy from the...
Jun 142017
 
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have designed a more stable yet still efficient perovskite material with a self-organizing structure.  Tönu Pullerits, professor of chemical physics at Lund University, first of all notes that, though ubiquitously used among solar researchers, the term perovskite is a somewhat “sloppy” way of naming a specific crystal structure with an elemental content of ABC_3 — the currently very...
Jun 092017
 
Teams of researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio (US), and Gebze Technical University in Turkey have used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on different samples of polyethylene-terephthalate (PET). A deeper understanding of the degradation mechanisms in such solar materials could help researchers to design better photovoltaic devices with extended lifetimes.  Different responses of the material were...
May 292017
 
The findings of a study conducted at Imperial College London (ICL) in the UK could help researchers to develop longer-lasting solar cells based on organic lead halide perovskites.  The work is a collaboration between the groups of Dr Saif Haque, a reader in materials chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at ICL, and Professor Saiful Islam at the University of Bath (also in the UK). The researchers reports to have identified the underlying mechanism that causes dramatic drops in the...
May 232017
 
On their quest to better understand and thus be able to optimize perovskite solar cells, researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have discovered in the perovskite layers strips of nanostructures with alternating directions of polarization that could serve as transport paths for charge carriers. “Perovskite solar cells are widely considered the shooting stars of modern photovoltaics,” says Dr Alexander Colsmann, head of KIT’s Organic...