Panasonic Corporation

05/18/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/17/2023 19:04

Meet Perovskite, the Material Shaping the Future of Solar Energy

Perovskite is a term that has been used to refer both to a crystalline mineral and similar crystal structures in other materials. Gustav Rose, a German mineralogist who lived in the 19th century, found calcium titanate after prospecting in the Ural Mountains. He named its crystal structure "perovskite" after Lev Perovski, a Russian mineralogist and aristocrat.

What makes perovskite structures interesting in the battle against climate change is their ability to efficiently absorb sunlight and offer more sustainable manufacturing potential. In photovoltaic applications, perovskites consist of organic-inorganic hybrid materials with a perovskite structure.

The creation of the perovskite solar cell was important because perovskite solar panels can transcend the limits of silicon. Through thinner and more flexible designs, perovskites permit the expansion of solar power generation in ways that currently do not exist. When applied to the surface of other materials, for example, they can form a power generation layer.

While the use of solar panels has spread rapidly in recent years, accounting for nearly 10% of annual electricity production in Japan in 2021, conventional solar cells face a fundamental limit: most on the market can only capture about 20% of solar energy and convert it into electricity. This ratio has improved over the years, but the theoretical efficiency limit of silicon modules is 29%.

Since the invention of perovskite solar panels, the efficiency has climbed from 3.8% in 2009 to 25.2% in 2020. When used in tandem with silicon, small-scale perovskite cells have achieved efficiencies as high as 32.5%.