Efficient Solar Cell Design Slashes Costs

01/19/2016 |

New cheaper material could increase solar access

FDT molecules on perovskite crystals

3-D illustration of FDT molecules on a surface of perovskite crystals. PHOTO CREDIT: SVEN M. HEIN/EPFL

A new design for solar panel materials could help cut costs for the devices while maintaining a high level of efficiency. The perovskite-based cells use a cheaper material for “hole-transportation,” which moves the positive charges created when light hits the film, costing just 20% as much as existing options and boasting an efficiency level of 20.2%.

While there were previously only two materials that worked as hole transporters, the researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) created a new material called FDT that is more efficient than the other, more expensive options. Additionally, the researchers note that the FDT design can be adjusted and customized to create even more efficient types of cheaper hole-transporting materials.

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