Scientists discover a method for healing certain solar cells with intense light

Sometimes in science the answer is right in front of your nose the whole time. Like, say, when the issue of limitations in a solar technology can be addressed with, of all things, light.

Over the past several years, perovskite compounds have garnered increased interest around their potential as the basis of solar cells – though some inherent defects have limited their efficiency. New research announced this morning by MIT, however, reveals that the answer to the limitations of the compounds could be found in the most handy of places: really intense light.

Applying intense illumination to thin film created with organic-inorganic metal halide perovskites has the effect of cleaning up defects from the material according to the school, which, in turn, can increase the efficiency of light capture in the creation of solar cells. The repair could also make the material a more efficient light emitter, leading to the creation of new LEDs and lasers.

There are still some issues to overcome with  the fix, the largest concern being how to maintain its effects over an extend period to make it worth manufacturers’ while. This research comes as companies are looking to bring versions of the material to market within the year.