Our group’s paper is on the front page of Science!
Basically, a new variety of solar cells called perovskites can re-use light rather than letting it go to waste. Some light hitting solar cells moves electrons around but does not result in electricity, but in these perovskite cells we find that this electron movement can turn back into light rather than being wasted. These solar cells have already generated enormous interest from researchers and businesses due to achieving high levels of efficiency in a very short time and this research suggests an extra factor that might allow us to improve them further. Their best efficiency has recently overtaken conventionally designed silicon solar cell efficiencies and this trick we’ve learned about is what makes the best simple solar cells (made of gallium arsenide) work so well – they make light tens of times before current is generated. There are a number of problems with implementing the same tricks in current perovskite cells (and it’s nowhere near as efficient as in gallium arsenide), but this is another reason to think there is a bright future for solar energy!