British researchers have discovered a new type of solar cells excel not just at absorbing light but also at emitting it, which means solar cells can produce cheap lasers
The new revolutionary finding opens a new field for using this material in telecommunications and light-emitting devices.
Felix Deschler, lead author of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University said “This first demonstration of lasing in these cheap solution-processed semiconductors opens up a range of new applications.”
This new type of solar cell based on a perovskite material was recently pioneered by an Oxford research team led by Professor Henry Snaith, which is named for scientist Lev Perovski. Its having a remarkable 17 percent efficiency after a mere two years of research which lie just a fraction behind commercial silicon.
Scientists said that This generates cheap solar energy for better use at homes in a larger area.
The team produced an optically-driven laser by sandwiching a thin layer of the lead halide perovskite between two mirrors, which proves these cells “show very efficient luminescence” with up to 70 percent of absorbed light re-emitted.
Co-author from the Oxford University team, Sam Stranks added “It is thrilling to find that perovskite cells can overtake commercial silicon-based solar cells - such as those seen on the roofs of houses across the country - in terms of efficiency after just two years of development.”
Most commercial solar cell materials need expensive processing to achieve a very low level of impurities before they show good luminescence, but in the case of wonder solar cell these new materials work well even when very simply prepared as thin films using cheap scalable solution processing.
"We were surprised to find such high luminescence efficiency in such easily prepared materials. This has great implications for improvements in solar cell efficiency,” Michael Price, another co-author from the group in Cambridge, added.
The studies prove that commercial silicon-based solar cells operate at about 20 percent efficiency for converting sun rays into electrical energy.