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Challenge #13

Generating abundant and inexpensive solar power.

Converting sunlight even more efficiently into electricity – that is our goal. In this pursuit, we are investigating new materials and developing highly efficient and inexpensive solar cells based on thin-film technologies.

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Solar energy is virtually inexhaustible – the sun delivers more energy to the Earth in a few hours than all of humanity needs in a year. At Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), we are investigating novel materials that convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than ever. For this research, we make use of state-of-the-art analytical methods, for example, at the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II.

Novel perovskite solar cells are especially promising. We are combining them with classic solar cell materials such as silicon to produce tandem cells that can achieve world-record efficiencies of almost 30 percent. HZB is one of the leading research institutions in the field of thin-film technologies. In the EMIL research laboratory with direct access to BESSY II, we are able to study our semiconductor thin films using X-ray light from BESSY II while they are being manufactured. We also operate laboratories where our researchers work closely together with industry partners. Thus, with the latest knowledge, we develop better processes for producing large modules and advise professionals in architecture and planning.

(Header: HZB/Amran Al-Ashouri)

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