Perovskites power up the solar industry

A promising material could deliver sunny days for renewable energy — if it can expand its reach

perovskite diagram

LAYER UP  Researchers are betting on a class of sunlight-absorbing materials called perovskites to improve today’s solar cells. A perovskite’s cagelike crystal structure (right) surrounds a chunky ion such as methyl­ammonium. The red, purple and orange balls are ions that can be varied so the material absorbs different wavelengths of light in its 3-D form (left).

T. Tibbitts; SOURCES: ROBERT J. CAVA/PRINCETON UNIV.; OSMAN M. BAKR AND OMAR F. MOHAMMED/SCIENCE 2017

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