A synthetic approach developed by KAUST researchers generates homogeneous and defect-free crystals that could fast-track the commercialization of perovskite solar cells.

"Perovskite solar cells are the fastest developing type of photovoltaic technology, with power-conversion efficiencies rising from 3.8 percent in 2009 to 24.2 percent in 2019 for single-junction devices," says Osman Bakr, who led the study with Omar Mohammed.

This rapid increase in performance is associated with inexpensive and simple device fabrication, which makes these solar cells commercially appealing.

The performance and stability of solar cells depend on the morphology of the perovskite thin films, which act as light-harvesting layers in the devices.

Hybrid lead-based perovskites that combine a methylammonium cation with several halides, such as the anionic forms of bromine and iodine, present a narrow and tunable optical bandgap.

Therefore, perokskites could become a substitute of choice for silicon-based solar materials.

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