The Sandwich Structure Can Improve the Efficiency of Next-generation Solar Panels

The Sandwich Structure Can Improve the Efficiency of Next-generation Solar Panels


With a more basic understanding of the structure of a key component, the design of next-generation solar panels can now be improved. In a world craving cheaper and more efficient renewable energy, Australian researchers have provided enjoyment.
 
The ARC Exciton Science Center of Excellence has shown that the two-dimensional (2D) film used in some peroxide solar cells is very similar to a sandwich. Peroxide is an exciting material that is at the forefront of the research and design of solar energy.
 
Previously, scientists believed that these two-dimensional peroxide films had a "gradient" structure, in which some components were found deep in the material, while other complementary elements were only near the surface, like the ingredients on a biscuit.
 
However, in a paper published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C, members of Exciton Science at the University of Melbourne, together with collaborators from the Australian National Science Agency CSIRO and Shandong University, created a sandwich-like structure, that is, two layers of the same type of material (the bread) surrounded a central, contrasting layer (the filling).
 


Graphical representation of the proposed two-dimensional peroxide "sandwich" structure
This layout encourages excitons, that is, quasi-particles, which are important for converting sunlight into electricity. They move from the center layer to the two surfaces of the film, while free carriers transport charges for collection by the electrodes. When they are incorporated into the device, more effective solar energy can be produced.
 
Corresponding author Professor Ken Ghiggino said: "A real problem is to understand what the structure of these two-dimensional peroxide solar cells is. There has been considerable controversy in the literature. The progress we have made is to discover what the real structure of these thin films is, and how they work in solar cells."
 
People are interested in the superior stability and durability of two-dimensional peroxide devices compared with three-dimensional peroxide batteries. The prototype two-dimensional device developed by the researchers using CSIRO's infrastructure and expertise has shown efficiency of 13%.
 
With a more basic understanding of the structure, researchers will now try to improve device efficiency by changing the thickness of the layers within the peroxide "sandwich". In addition to solar cells, there are important applications of improved two-dimensional peroxide film to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photodetectors, such as video imaging, optical communications, biomedical imaging, security, night vision, gas sensing, and motion detection.
 
The lead author, Dr. Fei Zheng said. "Compared to the traditional gradient distribution model, this is the first time that a sandwich structure has been proposed. We believe this discovery will help  optimization of design and equipment, and make the performance of two-dimensional batteries and LEDs better."