Breakthrough Solar Cell Innovation Generates 1000x More Power Than Traditional Cells


Most solar cells are currently silicon based; however, their efficiency is limited.
Most solar cells are currently silicon based; however, their efficiency is limited.

The research team at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has discovered that the photovoltaic effect of ferroelectric crystals can be increased by a factor of 1,000 if three different materials are arranged periodically in a lattice.

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By creating crystalline layers of barium titanate, strontium titanate and calcium titanate and alternately placing them on top of one another, the team was able to achieve this increase in efficiency. These findings, which could have a significant impact on solar cell technology, were published in the journal "Science Advances". Researchers are looking into new materials for solar cells, such as ferroelectrics like barium titanate.

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This mixed oxide is made of barium and titanium and is called a ferroelectric because it has spatially separated positive and negative charges. This charge separation leads to an asymmetric structure that enables electricity to be generated from light. Ferroelectric crystals don't require a PN junction to create the photovoltaic effect, so it's much easier to produce solar panels with them.

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