Perovskite For A Brighter Future

Posted: Jan 26 2016, 1:50am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Perovskite for a Brighter Future

Meet Perovskite, a mineral with exceptional properties.

Perovskite is a mineral that was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1839 and named after Russian mineralogist Lev Perovski. While the term perovskite refers to the mineral itself, a whole family of materials exists, called perovskite structures, that includes any material that has the same chemical form and crystallographic structure as perovskite.

Among these materials (depending on which atoms/molecules are used in the structure) are perovskites with extraordinary and fascinating properties like colossal magnetoresistance - their electrical resistance changes when they are put in a magnetic field (which can be useful for microelectronics), superconductivity - which means they can conduct electricity with no resistance at all, ferroelectricity, charge ordering, spin dependent transport, high thermopower and more. Perovskites therefore hold exciting opportunities for physicists, chemists and material scientists.

Perovskite Structure

Perovskite materials exhibit intriguing and unusual physical properties that have been extensively studied for both practical applications and theoretical modeling and the materials science and applications of perovskites have been a broad research area open to many revolutionary discoveries for new device concepts. Perovskitesí potential applications are varied and include uses in displays, sensors and catalyst electrodes, certain types of fuel cells, solar cells, lasers, memory devices and spintronics applications.

Solar cells are currently the most prominent perovskite application, as synthetic perovskites are recognized as potential inexpensive base materials for high-efficiency commercial photovoltaics. Certain perovskites absorb sunlight very efficiently, and are also easy to fabricate using liquids that could be printed on substrates like ink in a printing press, or made from simple evaporation. These properties suggest an easy, affordable way to create solar cells, and perovskite PVs are constantly undergoing research and improvement, going from just 2% efficiency in 2006 to over 20.1% in 2016.

Perovskite photovoltaics have a wide bandgap. This creates an opportunity in pairing them up with low bandgap photovoltaic technology, which will result in improved efficiency and will matter in a highly competitive market where system costs depend on efficiencies. In addition, perovskite solar cells offer additional attributes like flexibility, semi-transparency, light-weight, and more.

The technology is, however, not fully commercially ready yet and perovskite solar cells will need to face several challenges before commercial success can be achieved; Among these issues are the cellsí durability, stability, poor stability in humid air and the risk that these devices may release lead, a highly toxic element, to the environment.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/57" rel="author">Roni Peleg</a>
Roni Peleg is the senior editor of Perovskite-Info, a new international publication that follows the latest perovskite news, and she is also the senior editor of Graphene-Info, a similar publication focused on graphene, the new wonder material that is set to revolutionize our lives. Roni is writing news and articles and stays on top of the latest graphene and perovskite research, industry and market.




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