Solar energy could soon get a 2-for-1 boost with tandem cells
While Europe has embraced solar power technology to the point that an eclipse can cause mild panic, the efficiency of the best solar cells is still hovering around a mere 25%. That’s a lot of free energy that isn’t being harvested. Past research has pointed to a plentiful mineral known as perovskite as a possible solution to the poor performance of solar cells, and now a team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University have put theory into action by constructing tandem silicon-perovskite solar cells.
Tandem solar cells (sometimes known as multijunction cells) are composed of more than one semiconductor material. They have the potential to boost efficiency considerably, but their use has been very limited thanks to manufacturing complications and high cost. The Stanford/MIT team focused on these designs because they felt there is a great deal of room for improvement.
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