Scientists develop ‘self-healing’ solar cells for a sustainable future

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Imagine solar cells that can repair themselves and last longer.

This could soon be a reality thanks to a major breakthrough in solar technology.

Researchers have discovered a way to make perovskite solar cells, which are already known for being efficient and cheap, even more durable by giving them the ability to “self-heal.”

Perovskite solar cells are seen as the future of solar energy because they are highly efficient, lightweight, and inexpensive.

However, they have a drawback: they are not very durable and are prone to damage from moisture and heat.

To become a reliable and widely used energy source, they need to be made tougher and scalable for large-scale production.

A recent study published in Nature has revealed a new strategy to improve the stability and performance of these solar cells.

Researchers from Monash University, the University of Oxford, and the City University of Hong Kong have developed an innovative way to make perovskite solar cells more resilient.

The key to their success is an “innovating agent” that dynamically heals the perovskite layer when it faces environmental stressors like moisture and heat. This ensures that the solar cells maintain their performance and last longer.

The researchers’ new approach has led to solar cells with a 25.1% power conversion efficiency, meaning they can convert more sunlight into electricity. These cells also showed remarkable stability, surviving 1,000 hours of accelerated aging tests at 85°C and under simulated sunlight.

Professor Udo Bach, a co-author of the study and Director of the Research Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Monash, explained, “Our slow-release strategy is a significant advancement in the field of perovskite photovoltaics. By slowly releasing the passivating agents into our perovskite material, we have been able to produce solar cells not only with enhanced performance but also with extended long-term stability under real-world conditions.”

This breakthrough could pave the way for more reliable and efficient perovskite solar cells, helping to drive the global transition towards sustainable energy solutions. With these self-healing solar cells, the future of solar energy looks brighter and more dependable than ever before.