1. Perovskites as the future in the use of solar energy?
2. Perovskite – what is it?
3. What is the phenomenon of this mineral?
4. Perovskites – the future of solar energy? The beginnings of research
5. Perovskites – application
Perovskites as the future in the use of solar energy? These are materials that absorb solar energy well, so the answer comes to mind. Perovskites make it possible to convert solar energy into electricity thanks to a photovoltaic cell. This is where this process takes place. Researchers of this process believe that perovskites will become a breakthrough in the popular photovoltaics today.
Perovskite is a mineral that occurs in the natural environment. Its physical properties characterize, among others, light absorption, or – to put it simply – light absorption. It absorbs solar energy much better than gallium arsenide or popular silicon. Perovskite occurs in nature as calcium titanate with the chemical formula CaTiO3. The mineral in question was found in the Urals in the first half of the 19th century. It owes its name to the Russian mineral researcher L.A. Perowski. Perovskite is a salt with the general formula ABX3. This corresponds to the oxide anions and the metal cations. The chemicals that fit this formula are perovskite. Interestingly, perovskites do not exist only in the natural environment, i.e. in magma and rocks. We can also prepare them in the laboratory using the chemical synthesis method. Perovskites as the future in the use of solar energy? We’ll talk about this later in the article.
It is worth noting that the natural perovskite does not conduct electricity. This property is characteristic of hybrid perovskites. They are semi-organic and semi-inorganic materials. Due to the fact that hybrid perovskites are inherently very rare, laboratory technicians began to prepare electrically conductive perovskites in the laboratory. Such modifications allow you to get the desired effect. Until now, we have used silicon and gallium arsenide to produce photovoltaic cells that did not have the same excellent light absorption capacity as hybrid perovskites. Research on the use of perovskites has been going on for over ten years and the prognosis is optimistic. Scientists believe that these minerals will be able to successfully replace the semiconductors used today.
The advantage of perovskites is the form in which they function: namely, in very thin layers. Therefore? In terms of both chemical and physical properties, hybrid perovskites are more economical than traditional forms of solar energy absorption. Saving the material that we use in the process of creating photovoltaic cells is a real advantage. This is not the end of perovskite advantages. Compared to silicon-based cells, perovskites are definitely lighter, resilient and partially transparent. You can place them on almost any surface and customize the shape and color. This is undoubtedly good news for any esceta. The production of perovskite cells is also cheaper compared to silicon technologies.
The genesis of research on the use of perovskites dates back to 2009. Then, in Japan, Tsutomu Miyazaki and his research team tried to find out about the possibilities of perovskites in photovoltaic technology. Their research, however, did not bring much results. The Oxford team led by Henry Snaith outperformed. Why? Because the research of this group turned out to be more diverse and open to modification. In the course of their research, they dared to replace the traditional perovskite with its polymer. This was the key to further success. Polish physicist Dr. Olga Malinkiewicz used it efficiently and tried to exclude titanium oxide from the production process, which significantly increased costs. This compound required a very high temperature. Thus, the only possible material on which the perovskites of that time could be applied was glass.
Our physicist, by eliminating the above-mentioned chemical compound, contributed to the formation of a liquid perovskite that can be applied to any surface. All thanks to the possibility of dosing in the high temperature production process. Note that our researcher directly contributed to reducing the cost of producing photovoltaic cells. Moreover, it has become a precursor of the use of cheap materials for the application of liquid perovskite. The thickness of the potentially applied layer would be around 300 nm, while the light it would be able to absorb would be in the range 300 to 800 nm.
The discussed mineral (with an admixture of cerium and niobium), and especially its polymer, can be used in the defense industry or construction. Also in consumer electronics, perovskites find their application. We are talking here about the so-called the wearbles industry, which is more and more popular and available in highly developed countries. All google glass gadgets, smart watches, vests with electronic heart rate measurement fall within this definition.
It will soon turn out that laptop or cell phone chargers will no longer be needed. Perovskites can be used in cells that supply our batteries with renewable energy, previously charged only with electricity. The leading technology in which this mineral finds its application is the already mentioned production technology of relatively inexpensive solar cells. Dr. Olga Malinkiewicz claims, however, that the priority is to implement this technology first in everyday electronics devices. Only later can you focus on areas such as construction and broadly understood industry. Ms Olga has developed a method by which we can obtain perovskite photovoltaic modules using inkjet printing. Anyway, the relatively slow development of the discussed technology is influenced by still expensive research.
In this field in Poland, we have already produced a photovoltaic film that can be applied to any surface, while maintaining its efficiency. An example is production halls and other roofing buildings of this type. The prognosis is good as it is estimated that in the future it will not be necessary to have printed foil for this anymore. A potential solution is to be such a print directly applied to a selected surface. In addition, perovskites can be used as a binder of photovoltaic cells in the case of glass surfaces. Then they will be valuable panels that provide energy. We know well that renewable energy sources are the future and hope for environmental protection. For this reason, factories are built in which specialists produce perovskites. Therefore, there will be more and more companies offering solar farms to large companies and retail customers.