Can Self-Healing Solar Cells Recover at Night?

When exposed to sunlight, perovskite solar cells degrade, resulting in decreased performance over time. A new research study will look into how such solar cells may recover and repair themselves at night.

Can Self-Healing Solar Cells Recover at Night?

Ellen Moons, Professor of Physics. Image Credit: Karlstad University.

Solar cells and LEDs are made from semiconductor materials, states Ellen Moons, a Professor of Physics. These materials are responsible for developing the basis of all computers, electronics, screens, and cell phones. Halide perovskite is a new kind of semiconductor and has been known to gain huge attraction for attaining high performance as solar cell material that is easy and efficient to manufacture.

The disadvantage of these perovskite solar cells is that their performance decreases over time. It would be extremely useful, not least from an environmental point of view, if the solar cells could help repair themselves, which might sound like science fiction, but has been noted in a few materials.

Research Collaboration with Israeli Universities

The study has been performed as a collaboration project between Karlstad University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Metal halide perovskite is considered to be a new category of semiconductors that have been displayed to hold a self-repairing potential.

They could be utilized for highly efficient LEDs and solar cells. One of the Israeli research groups has displayed that metal halide perovskite solar cells, which degrade in sunlight could rebuild their efficacy at night when it turns out to be dark.

The other research group from Israel uncovered single crystals of lead-based metal halide perovskites to strong lasers, which made them lack their ability to glow. Further, the scientists discovered that the material helped regain its photoluminescence after a few recuperation times in the darkness.

Also, if these two observations—one present in the solar cell’s thin, multicrystalline layer and the other one in single crystals—seem associated, it is still hard to know what the possible relation is between such two phenomena, or how it functions.

According to Ellen Moons, to comprehend the self-repair mechanics of such materials, it is important to take part in this project to analyze numerous samples, with and without interfacial layers.

The interfacial layers’ role will be analyzed in avoiding ions and degradation products from exiting the perovskite layer. Further, such degradation products can be recycled for the process to be reversed and repair the metal halide perovskites.

The collaborating research groups will utilize non-destructive analytical techniques to identify which bonds in the material experiences changes in the degradation and repair processes. Also, they will analyze what effects these shifts exhibit on the material’s electronic properties.

Research for Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy

This project will take the lead toward new and sustainable semiconductor materials, states Ellen Moons. The materials fabricated will be energy efficient to be manufactured and they will be able to revive their properties once the degradation has been done.

Currently, learning about self-repairing semiconductor electronics has been anticipated to be of considerable value in the development of future renewable energy sources and also includes the development of sustainable electronics.

The project has been financially supported through SSF, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. Around eight research projects will share nearly 50 million SEK granted by “Lise Meitner Grants for Israeli-Swedish Research Collaboration”, which is a bilateral collaboration happening between SSF and MOST, the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.