A waterproof coating for perovskite solar cells could make the panels suitable for rooftops as well as hydrogen fuel production.
Although perovskite solar cells are inexpensive, efficient and thin, they also unstable in water. To overcome that limitation, a team from the University of Bath developed a protective graphite coating that replaces the more expensive indium-containing alloys. In tests, the graphite-coated cells were able to survive being submerged in water, where they split water into hydrogen and oxygen using harvested solar energy and a catalyst boost for thirty hours before deteriorating (ten hours longer than the previous record).
According to PhD student Isabella Poli, “Currently hydrogen fuel is made by burning methane, which is neither clean nor sustainable. But we hope that in the future we can create clean hydrogen and oxygen fuels from solar energy using perovskite cells.”
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