Today, 95% of solar panels are made with silicon, a plentiful and reliable material that has lowered the cost of solar energy production similar to coal and natural gas power plants. However, silicon solar cells are still relatively expensive to manufacture and can only capture a limited portion of solar energy. Many believe perovskite is the answer to bringing solar power to the next generation.
Despite being ultra-efficient and cost-effective, perovskite-based solar cells still have a number of issues as an early-stage technology. Yi Hou, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, found a way to solve one of them: a series of losses of perovskite/organic tandem solar cells that reduce power production efficiency. He led a team that developed a novel and practical route to simultaneously reduce various losses to combine high efficiency, longevity, and low cost in one tandem solar cell, which resulted in a record-breaking efficiency of 23.60%. This research clears a major obstacle to the development of perovskite/organic tandem solar cells, demonstrating that they can match or even outperform their rivals’ performances.