By UCLA for YubaNet.com
May 1, 2019 – Scientists at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have found that caffeine improves the stability of materials under heat – a property known as thermal stability — of perovskite solar cells, which could someday replace traditional silicon-based solar cells.
The research, published today in the journal Joule, was led by Yang Yang, UCLA’s Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Professor of Engineering.
For the past few years, perovskite solar cells have been thought to be the future of solar power because they could eventually cost less to produce than today’s silicon solar cells and they have the potential to be more energy-efficient. Research on perovskite solar cells dates back only to the early 2010s, but they are already nearly as efficient as silicon solar cells, which have been researched for more than 40 years.
But perovskite solar cells are not yet commercially viable, in part because of their inability to withstand sustained heat from sunlight.