Realizing that silicon-based solar cells were limited in their efficiency during temperatures reaching over 100° C (212° F), scientists at The Vienna University of Technology (TU Wein) in Austria created a perovskite-based solar cell that is able to withstand high temperatures. Because the new cells are able to function under these circumstances, they could be used in larger plants where mirrors are incorporated in order to concentrate the sunlight onto photovoltaic panels. The nature of these cells also help maintain a high conversion efficiency.

"Our cell consists of two different parts – a photoelectric part on top and an electrochemical part below," says Georg Brunauer, whose doctoral thesis while a student at TU Wein is the basis of this research. "In the upper layer, ultraviolet light creates free charge carriers, just like in a standard solar cell. The electrons in this layer are immediately removed and travel to the bottom layer of the electrochemical cell. Once there, these electrons are used to ionize oxygen to negative oxygen ions, which can then travel through a membrane in the electrochemical part of the cell. This is the crucial photoelectrochemical step, which we hope will lead to the possibility of splitting water and producing hydrogen."

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