What are perovskite solar cells? Explain why these cells are more efficient that conventional silicon solar cells.

Calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3) is also known as Perovskite. Perovskite solar cell is a type of solar cell that contains perovskite structure compounds i.e. those having the same structure as that of a perovskite mineral. The most commonly used perovskite mineral for solar cell is a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material. However, Perovskite materials such as methyl ammonium lead halides that are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture are also preferred. Perovskites minerals display a number of interesting properties such as Superconductivity, Magnetoresistance, and Ferroelectricity which makes them well suited to many technological applications, including solar cells.
Perovskites solar cells are more efficient in comparison to conventional silicon solar cells due to following reasons:

  • Efficiency of a solar cell depends upon the mobility of atoms and molecules within the material used for its construction. A perovskite mineral have high mobility and respond to light within trillionths of a second, which is much faster than that by a silicon wafer. This property makes Perovskites solar cells highly efficient in converting light energy to electricity.
  • Perovskite thin films are also lightweight and flexible in comparison to silicon solar cells.

Further, unlike silicon solar cells, Perovskites solar cells are environment friendly (manufacturing and disposal process), cheap, and easy to install.

Question for UPSC Mains:
What are perovskite solar cells? Explain why these cells are more efficient that conventional silicon solar cells. (150 Words, 10 Marks)

Published: January 25, 2018 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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