Perovskite's power conversion efficiency is nearly on a par with traditional materials at around 22 per cent. Scientists hope for further improvements: "We can combine this technology with the one that used silicon in order to obtain cells whose efficiency can reach 30%,” says Adelio Mendes, a professor of chemical engineering from the University of Porto. He is the coordinator of the European GOTSolar research project.
The solar cells he and his research partners are working on are built-up layer by layer, like a sandwich, with perovskite as the light-harvesting active layer. “The caveat is the lead," admits his colleague Prof Michael Grätzel from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne, "we must be careful to manage this weakness properly."
GOTSolar is a 3 year project until the end of 2018. Its budget of almost €3 million Euros is entirely met by the EU's Horizon 2020 programme.
A report on GOTSolar has been produced for Futuris, the science programme of the pan-European television channel Euronews. It can be watched anytime online (see links below) and on TV until 4 March 2018:
Saturday, 3 March - 06:45, 12:15, 22:15
Sunday, 4 March - 10:45, 20:45
All times Central European Time.
If you are in Ireland, Portugal or the United Kingdom: Tune in 1 hour earlier.
If you are in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia or Romania: Tune in 1 hour later.