Toshiba announced a new power conversion efficiency rating of 9.5% for a transparent cuprous oxide (Cu2O) thin film solar cell. This is an improvement from the 8.4% results it reached in December 2021. It claims to have now achieved the highest yield ever reported for a cell of its type to date.
“The new cell is expected to boost the development of electric vehicles that do not require plug-in charging, and advance other mobility applications, such as high-altitude platform stations, telecommunications in the stratosphere,” said Japanese electronics. the manufacturer said in a statement.
It achieved the record efficiency rate by enlarging the cell and suppressing carrier recombination at the edge of cuprous oxide (Cu2O) generation layer, which usually causes generation efficiency degradation.
“We found that larger cell size effectively suppresses photocarrier recombination,” said Kazushige Yamamoto, a member of Toshiba’s research and development center. “Increase the energy production area from the previous 3mm2 x 3mm2 at 10 millimeters2 x 3mm2 produces a relative reduction in recombination in the cell edge. The resulting increase in photocurrent pushed the electrical conversation efficiency to 9.5%. »
Toshiba said that placing the Cu2An O solar cell on a silicon (Si) cell with 25% efficiency could result in a Cu2O-Si tandem cell with 28.5% efficiency. Such a tandem cell, charged only once, could power an EV for 37 km, according to tests carried out by the company.
Having already enlarged the size of the previous cell to 30 mm2, Toshiba is now working on marketing by further increasing this metric. Its goal is to achieve 10% power conversion efficiency for transparent cuprous oxide solar cell and 30% efficiency for Cu2O-Si tandem cell. To this end, he developed a 40mm2 Cu-prototype2O cell which showed an efficiency of about 8%.
“The drop in efficiency in the larger cell is due to a less uniform layer,” the company said. “Toshiba continues to refine thin-film deposition technology for uniform deposition over a larger area.”
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