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R&D on Next-generation Solar Cells Active in South Korea
Heightening Expectations for Commercialization
R&D on Next-generation Solar Cells Active in South Korea
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • September 9, 2019, 13:31
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Research and development on next-generation solar cells is active in Korea.

A number of research institutions in South Korea are actively conducting research and development on next-generation solar cells, heightening expectations for commercialization.

Global investment in renewable energy production capacities came to US$2.60 trillion (3,103.36 trillion won) during the decade from 2010 to 2019, according to a report on renewable energy investment from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The figure for solar energy stood at US$1.30 trillion (1,551.81 trillion won), accounting for half of the total investment.

The research team led by Prof. Yoon Soon-gil of Chungnam National University has developed a new graphene electrode to produce perovskite solar cells at a low temperature. In addition, the team led by Prof. Choi Kyoung-jin of the School of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST has developed a new concept tandem solar cell using transparent conductive adhesives (TCA).

The graphene electrode developed by Professor Yoon’s team can help create a perovskite solar cell at a low temperature and can raise both safety and economic efficiency.

The research team grew a large-scale graphene by absorbing carbon from titanium buffer layers which are 10 nm thick at below 100 degrees Celsius. The perovskite solar cell manufactured with the transfer-free method has improved efficiency by 14.2 percent and transparency by 26 percent compared to graphene solar cells made with the mass transfer process.

The graphene solar cell made with the mass transfer method saw its efficiency decrease 20 percent from the initial value after it was used for 500 hours. However, the new graphene electrode produced with a transfer-free method showed only a 13 percent lower efficiency and a 7 percent higher safety in terms of flexibility than the graphene solar cell after 1,000 bending cycles.