Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a new type of perovskite solar cell that promises to be cheaper and more commercial viable than current perovskite cells.

Currently, solar cells based on lead perovskites are rapidly emerging as an efficient way to convert sunlight directly into electricity because perovskite devices can be made more easily and cheaply than silicon devices and can be on a flexible, rather than rigid, substrate.  However, the reliance on lead is a serious barrier to commercialisation, due to the well-known toxicity of lead.

The University of Warwick scientists have shown that perovskites using tin in place of lead are much more stable than previously thought and, so, could prove to be a viable alternative to lead perovskites for solar cells. The team has also shown how the device structure can be greatly simplified without compromising performance, allowing for reduced fabrication cost.

Lead-free perovskite cells could make solar power cheaper, safer and more commercially attractive.