Perovskite solar cell

Will perovskite-based memristors someday replace Flash storage?

Dyesol awarded $0.5 million grant to pursue high efficiency, low cost solar cell

Australia-based Dyesol has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to commercialize an innovative, very high efficiency perovskite solar cell. ARENA has stated that the funding would enable Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets. As declared, Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV. This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides…

Researchers at ETH Zurich have built a perovskite-based memristor just 5 nanometres thick. The component has three stable resistive states, and as a result, it can not only store the 0 or 1 of a standard bit, but can also be used for information encoded by three states – the 0, 1 and 2 of a “trit”. This component could, therefore, be useful for a new type of IT that is not based on binary logic, but on a logic that provides for information located ‘between’ the 0 and 1, with interesting implications for what is referred to as fuzzy logic, which seeks to incorporate a form of uncertainty into the processing of digital information.

Another potential application is neuromorphic computing, which aims to use electronic components to reproduce the way in which neurons in the brain process information. The scientists explain that the properties of a memristor at a given point in time depend on what has happened before, and this mimics the behavior of neurons, which only transmit information once a specific activation threshold has been reached.

The researchers have characterized the ways in which the component works by conducting electro-chemical studies. They were able to identify the carriers of electrical charge and understand their relationship with the three stable states, which is important knowledge for materials science which will be useful in refining the way the storage operates and in improving its efficiency.

Memristors (or RRAM memory cells) are much sought-after electronic components that could one day replace flash memory (DRAM) used in USB memory sticks, SD cards and SSD hard drives. They require less energy since they work at lower voltages and can be made much smaller than today’s memory modules. They therefore offer much greater density, which means that they can store more megabytes of information per square millimetre. Memristors are currently, however, only at the prototype stage.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) developed a process for coating perovskite layers with graphene for the first time, so that the graphene acts as a front contact. A traditional silicon absorber converts the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions and a particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is perovskite. However, it is normally very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell. The HZB scientists…

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