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National University of Singapore scientists achieve world record triple-junction perovskite/Si tandem efficiency


Scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have made a significant breakthrough in solar technology, unveiling a novel triple-junction perovskite/Si tandem solar cell with a certified world-record power conversion efficiency of 27.1%. This achievement, achieved across a solar energy absorption area of 1 sq cm, marks the highest performance to date for such tandem solar cells.


To achieve this milestone, the research team, led by Assistant Professor Hou Yi from NUS College of Design and Engineering (CDE) and Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS), engineered a new cyanate-integrated perovskite solar cell. This innovative approach enhances stability and energy efficiency, addressing common challenges in multi-junction solar cell technologies.


Multi-junction solar cells, with layers of different photovoltaic materials, aim to increase efficiency. However, existing technologies suffer from energy loss, resulting in low voltage and device instability during operation. The integration of cyanate into the perovskite structure proved to be a groundbreaking solution, as detailed in the published work in Nature on March 4, 2024.


The team experimented with cyanate, a novel pseudohalide, as a substitute for bromide commonly used in perovskites. Dr Liu Shunchang, a Research Fellow in Asst Prof Hou’s team, confirmed the successful integration of cyanate into the perovskite structure, paving the way for a cyanate-integrated perovskite solar cell.


Analysis of the new perovskite’s atomic structure provided experimental evidence of cyanate’s role in stabilizing the structure and forming crucial interactions within the perovskite. Performance assessments revealed that cyanate-integrated perovskite solar cells achieved a higher voltage and significant reduction in energy loss compared to conventional counterparts.


Encouraged by these results, the NUS team took the technology further by assembling a triple-junction perovskite/Si tandem solar cell. The certified world-record efficiency of 27.1% was achieved in this complex structure, demonstrating stability and performance.

Theoretical efficiency for such tandem solar cells exceeds 50%, showcasing the potential for further enhancements, especially in applications with limited installation space. The next steps for the NUS team involve upscaling the technology to larger modules without compromising efficiency and stability. Future research will focus on innovations in the interfaces and composition of perovskite, aiming to advance this groundbreaking technology further.

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