The smart folks over at Northwestern University have managed to discover a way that could potentially see the solar cell market explode in a good (and big) way – by removing the liquid inside, hence stopping all risks of leakage. There is a new variation on the Grätzel solar cell which will do away with what is most commonly used at this point in time – a relatively short-lived organic dye, coming in the form of a solid state solar cell instead. The molecular dye in which the solid substance replaces is a corrosive form of material, hence running a risk of leakage, and being able to last for around 18 months. By doing away with that, researchers intend to make a far more affordable as well as environmental friendly alternative.

The new solar cell made by the Northwestern University will be a thin-film compound made up of cesium, tin and iodine, known as CsSnI3, where it will replace the entire liquid electrolyte of the Grätzel cell as mentioned above. This will in tum make it more efficient, even more stable and of course, longer lasting cell. Details of this new cell has already been published in the journal Nature.

Apparently, this new solid state solar cell will have a 10.2% conversion efficiency, which is the highest ever recorded in a solid-state solar cell of its kind, although this is still around at the halfway mark of what traditional solar cells are able to collect. Obviously, the researchers hope to increase the conversion rate in the long run, and with a higher level of adoption, perhaps a cheaper entry point as well? [Press Release]

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