Scroll Top

Potential solar cell material can be both hard and insulating – Article featured on C&EN

Potential solar cell material can be both hard and insulating - Article featured on C&EN

Pyramid-shaped inorganic layers of a hybrid perovskite thin film are joined by organic ligands, some with carbon chains and some with benzene rings. Photo Credit: Jun Liu


June 18, 2024 | By Neil Savage

A hybrid perovskite that is both stiff and thermally insulating—unusual combination of properties—could pave the way for improved solar cells (ACS Nano 2024, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.3c12172).

In many materials, including ceramics and polymers, those properties don’t normally go hand in hand: the harder the material, the more thermally conducting it is, and vice versa. But in this case, researchers created three separate materials that became more insulating as they got stiffer.

The materials were all 2D hybrid metal halide perovskites. A perovskite is any material with a particular crystal structure; the 2D hybrid versions are thin films made up of alternating organic and inorganic layers. Scientists are pursuing perovskites as the future of solar cells because they can convert a higher percentage of light to electricity.

Researchers achieved this mix of properties by altering the organic ligands between the inorganic layers. To do this, they added benzene rings to the ends of some of or all the ligands’ carbon chains.

Read more about this research, which derived from a collaboration between UNC Chemistry’s Wei You, Jun Liu of NC State University, and Qing Tu of Texas A&M University, at the read more link below.


Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.