Researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Australia have found that carbon dots from human hair can enhance the performance of perovskite solar cells.
April 13, 2021. By News Bureau
The scientists used hair waste from a barbershop in Brisbane to create carbon nanodots. When added into the process of producing the perovskites, a solution of carbon dots creates a kind of "armour" that protects the perovskite material from moisture or other environmental factors, professor Hongxia Wang explained in an announcement on the university's website last week.
The perovskite solar cells enwrapped in carbon dots exhibited a higher power conversion efficiency and better stability. The team has achieved a maximum power conversion efficiency of 20.22%, compared with 18.72% for perovskite solar cells without carbon dots.
Professor Wang’s team team, meanwhile, had found that nanostructured carbon materials could be used to improve a perovskite solar cell’s performance.
Bringing the two discoveries together in a new study, published late last week in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Wang’s team – including including Dr Ngoc Duy Pham and Centre for Materials Science research fellow Amandeep Singh Pannu – applied the hair-derived carbon nanodots to solar cells “out of curiosity.”
The study was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A. It was preceded by a study last year that showed that carbon dots obtained from breaking down and burning hair waste at high temperature could be turned into flexible displays for future smart devices.
Perovskites are lightweight and flexible, but key challenges to their commercialisation are to make them more stable and develop a large-scale manufacturing method, explains the announcement