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- The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cellsA long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from abundant materials. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now come a step closer to achieving this. They have improved a process for vertically depositing a solution made from an inexpensive perovskite solute onto a moving substrate below. Not only have they discovered the crucial role played by one of the solvents used, but they have also taken a closer look at the aging and storage properties of the solution.
- Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiencyAn HZB team has published a report in the journal Science on the development of its current world record of 29.15% efficiency for a tandem solar cell made of perovskite and silicon. The tandem cell provided stable performance for 300 hours – even without encapsulation. To accomplish this, the group headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht investigated physical processes at the interfaces to improve the transport of the charge carriers.
- Perovskite Solar Cells: paving the way for rational ink design for industrial-scale manufacturingFor the production of high-quality metal-halide perovskite thin-films for large area photovoltaic modules often optimized inks are used which contain a mixture of solvents. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed the crystallisation processes within such mixtures. A model has also been developed to assess the kinetics of the crystallisation processes for different solvent mixtures. The results are of high importance for the further development of perovskite inks for industrial-scale deposition processes of these semiconductors.
- Solar cells: Mapping the landscape of Caesium based inorganic halide perovskitesScientists at HZB have printed and explored different compositions of caesium based halide perovskites (CsPb(BrxI1−x)3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1)). In a temperature range between room temperature and 300 Celsius, they observe structural phase transitions influencing the electronic properties. The study provides a quick and easy method to assess new compositions of perovskite materials in order to identify candidates for applications in thin film solar cells and optoelectronic devices.
- Silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells: New facilities pave the way for industrial-scale production
Perovskites are regarded as promising materials for solar cells, able to be manufactured at low cost while at the same time being extremely efficient. They are particularly suitable for tandem solar cells that combine a cell made of silicon and one of perovskite. As a result, sunlight is more completely used when generating electrical energy. So far, the advantages of such cells have only been available for use at small laboratory scale. With two new, highly innovative production facilities, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are now creating the basis for future production on an industrial scale. [...]
- Upconversion of photons at low light intensities – the key to new applications in energy and bioengineeringThe region of the spectrum that can be utilised for producing electrical energy can be considerably extended by converting low-energy (longer wavelength) photons into high-energy (shorter wavelength) photons. But so far, this has only been possible at high intensities of light. Now for the first time, scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) have been able to produce a usable effect from relatively weak light by combining certain nanoparticles with what is known as a meta-surface. This paves the way for future applications in photovoltaics, for the detection of biological substances, and for electrical-field sensors. [...]
- Optimize opto-electronic devices with new compact measuring system
In order to develop efficient opto-electronic devices such as solar cells or LEDs, it is crucial to improve the quality of the semiconductors. To achieve this, it is necessary to determine the luminescence yield of the semiconductor material. For this characterization, a research team at HZB has developed a new measuring device that precisely determines the luminescence and is also very compact. In order to evaluate the potential for commercial applications, the team now receives a Field Study Fellowship from the Helmholtz Association. [...]
- Printed perovskite LEDs – an innovative technique towards a new standard process of electronics manufacturing
A team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has succeeded for the first time in producing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from a hybrid perovskite semiconductor material using inkjet printing.This opens the door to broad application of these materials in manufacturing many different kinds of electronic components.The scientists achieved the breakthrough with the help of a trick: "inoculating" (or seeding) the surface with specific crystals. [...]
- On the road to non-toxic and stable perovskite solar cellsThe promising halide perovskite materials for solar energy conversion show high efficiencies, but this comes at a cost: The best perovskite materials incorporate toxic lead which poses a hazard to the environment. To replace lead by less toxic elements is not easy since lead-free perovskites show lower stability and poor efficiencies. Now, an international collaboration has engineered a new hybrid perovskite material with promising efficiency and stability. [...]
- Portrait: The athlete in the lab coatSteve Albrecht is researching on perovskite solar cells and holds several efficiency world records with his team. Back in his schooldays, he was going to become either a competitive gymnast or a scientist. He chose science, but the same athletic ambition still drives his research forward. [...]
- Tandem solar cell world record: New branch in the NREL chartA special branch in the famous NREL-chart for solar cell world records refers to a newly developed tandem solar cell by HZB teams. The world-record cell combines the semiconductors perovskite and CIGS to a monolithic "two-terminal" tandem cell. Due to the thin-film technologies used, such tandem cells survive much longer in space and can even be produced on flexible films. The new tandem cell achieves a certified efficiency of 24.16 percent. [...]
- Doctoral student receives Erhard Höpfner Thesis AwardOn 11 February 2020, Max Grischek received the Erhard Höpfner Thesis Prize, worth 2000 euros, which is awarded by a jury of the Berlin Scientific Society for outstanding theses. Grischek studied at the Technische Universität Berlin and wrote his master thesis in the young investigator research group "Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells" at HZB. [...]
- Perovskite solar cells: International consensus on ageing measurement protocolsExperts from 51 research institutions have now agreed on the procedures for measuring the stability of perovskite solar cells and assessing their quality. The consensus statement was published in Nature Energy and is considered a milestone for the further development of this new type of solar cell on its way to industrial application. [...]
- World Record: Efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cell jumps to 29.15 per centIn the race for ever higher efficiency levels, an HZB development team has once again pulled ahead. The groups of Steve Albrecht and Bernd Stannowski have developed a tandem solar cell made of the semiconductors perovskite and silicon, that converts 29.15 per cent of the incident light into electrical energy. This value has been officially certified by the CalLab of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and means that surpassing the 30 per cent efficiency mark is now within reach. [...]
- Berlin Science Award: Young Talent Award for Steve AlbrechtOn November 7, 2019, Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research, honoured outstanding research achievements for the twelfth time. Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht was honoured this year with the "Nachwuchspreis" (Young Talent Award) for his research on novel tandem solar cells. Albrecht teaches as a junior professor at the Institute for High Frequency and Semiconductor System Technologies at the Technical University of Berlin and heads the research group "Perovskite Tandem Cells" at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. The Young Talent Award is given to scientists who are not older than 35 years and is endowed with 10,000 euros. [...]
- HZB awards prize for technology transfer projectOn 15 November, the best innovation project from the HZB will be awarded the Technology Transfer Prize 2019. The award ceremony is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. in the BESSY II auditorium at the HZB location in Berlin-Adlershof. All projects submitted to the competition will be presented in an exhibition starting Monday, October 21, initially in Wannsee, and starting November 4 in Adlershof. [...]
- Helmholtz Association promotes HZB cooperation with Slovenia on perovskite silicon tandem solar cellsA HZB team has successfully raised funds from the “Helmholtz European Partnering Program” of the Helmholtz Association to expand cooperation with partners of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The topics of the cooperation are tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon and, in particular, their precise characterisation. [...]
- World record for tandem perovskite-CIGS solar cellA team headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht from the HZB will present a new world-record tandem solar cell at EU PVSEC, the world's largest international photovoltaic and solar energy conference and exhibition, in Marseille, France on September 11, 2019. This tandem solar cell combines the semiconducting materials perovskite and CIGS and achieves a certified efficiency of 23.26 per cent. One reason for this success lies in the cell’s intermediate layer of organic molecules: they self-organise to cover even rough semiconductor surfaces. Two patents have been filed for these layers. [...]
- FOCUS TOPIC: Catching more light in solar cellsChristiane Becker uses microscopic structures to increase the amount of light captured in solar cells and is currently scaling up the technology for industrial application. “On top of everything else, there’s this spirit at HZB that we are working on the renewable energies of the future, and that is incredibly inspiring,” she relates in portrait. [...]
- Steve Albrecht wins the 2019 Karl Scheel PrizeThis year's Karl Scheel Prize from the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin honours Steve Albrecht of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie for his work in the field of highly efficient tandem solar cell absorbers made of metal-halide perovskites. [...]
- 1st place for "Glowing Silicon Lake" at the HZB photo competition for the Long Night of ScienceMore than 200 people have chosen their favourite pictures in the photo competition "Moments at the HZB" during the Long Night of Science. The winners have now been chosen, but the decision was extremely close. [...]
- LAUNCH OF EPKI: European Perovskite Initiative for the development of Perovskite based solar technologyPerovskite based solar cells have made tremendous progress over the last decade achieving lab-scale efficiencies of 24.2% early 2019 in single-junction architecture and up to 28% in tandem (perovskite associated with crystalline silicon), turning it into the fastest-advancing solar technology to date. With the HySPRINT project and the recruitment of highly talented young scientists, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has built up a considerable research capacity in the field of perovskite materials in recent years and is participating in the European Perovskite Initiative EPKI that has now been launched. [...]