Many important discoveries are the result of accidents. People used to scoff at Thomas Edison as he tried hundreds of materials for the filament of an electric light bulb. All of them failed. “That just means I am that much closer to finding something that does work,” he allegedly said to his detractors. Then he tried tungsten wire.
In theory, perovskites should make solar cells that are cheaper because they use elements found in abundance in nature. Today, non-tandem perovskite solar cells are able to achieve up to 24.2% efficiency, but they still suffer from several drawbacks. They don’t last very long and disintegrate in the presence of water and other contaminants.
According to Cleantechnica, Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles think they may have found a way to improve the performance of perovskites. They were sitting around drinking coffee in the cafeteria one day, looking for an energy boost, when one of them suggested trying caffeine to improve the performance of the perovskites they were working on in the lab. So they did.
Caffeine allows perovskite crystals to form without as much “disorder” as those grown without it says Joseph Berry, a physicist at the National Renewable Energy Lab, who was not involved in the research. “Generally the perspective is, ‘If you make the material more perfect, you get one that does better.’ The caffeine, at the local level, ensures you get a material that’s a bit more well-structured,” he says. “That results in a more stable device.”
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Date: Apr 29, 2019 @ 15:37
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