Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have developed a new silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell that has broken the world record for efficiency, converting 33.2% of sunlight into electricity under one-sun illumination . This is a significant improvement over the previous record of 32.5%, which was set by a team at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin in December 2022 .
Tandem solar cells are two-layer solar cells that use two different materials to absorb different wavelengths of sunlight. This can significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells, as each layer can absorb light that is not absorbed by the other layer. The KAUST tandem solar cell uses a silicon layer for absorbing shorter wavelengths of sunlight, and a perovskite layer for absorbing longer wavelengths.
The perovskite layer is a relatively new material that has the potential to make solar cells even more efficient. Perovskites are cheap and easy to manufacture, and they can absorb a wide range of wavelengths of sunlight. However, perovskite solar cells have been plagued by stability issues. The KAUST researchers have developed a new method to stabilize the perovskite layer, which makes it possible to use perovskites in tandem solar cells without sacrificing efficiency.
The new KAUST tandem solar cell is a major breakthrough for the solar energy industry. It is the first tandem solar cell to achieve an efficiency of over 33%, and it is a promising technology for making solar energy more affordable and accessible.