Disorder-Engineered Inorganic Crystals Set Record for Ultrathin Solar

On roofs and on solar farms, silicon-based solar panels are one of the most efficient systems in producing electricity from sunlight, but their manufacture can be expensive and energy-intensive, in addition to being heavy and bulky. An alternative solution to low-cost thin-film solar cells also involves the caveat that they are mostly composed of toxic elements such as lead or cadmium, or contain deficient elements such as indium or tellurium.

In search of new technologies for thin photovoltaic systems, AgBiS2 nanocrystalline solar panels have become a star player in the game, consisting of non-toxic, earth-rich elements produced in low-temperature, low-cost environments. decision processing techniques. It can be integrated into ultra-thin solar cells and has proven to be very stable, avoiding element degradation over long periods of time. For more information, see the IDTechEx report on converting energy from microwatts to gigawatts: 2020-2040 capabilities.

Back in 2016, a study conducted by ICREA professor with ICFO Gerasimos Constantatas produced a 35 nm semiconductor absorber based on AgBiS2 nanocrystals, which were synthesized at very low temperatures (100ºC) (an order of magnitude lower than those required for batteries). and designed in nanoscale using a layered application process to achieve an efficiency of the order of ~ 6%. Although they were a promising green alternative to silicon, these cells were still unable to achieve compelling performance relevant to commercialization.

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