Why use caffeine in photovoltaic panels?
A team of scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Through research, they have discovered that caffeine can be an alternative to the solar cells used in photovoltaic panels. It seems that it is more efficient when converting light into electricity, so this new method could compete against the traditional material that is silicon.
This idea came about by chance, while they talked, they thought that if people need coffee to have better performance, something similar would happen with La perovskita, it is a material that replaces silicon and is used in photovoltaic panels. Since coffee, is composed of alkaloid, which contains a molecular system that could interact with the perovskite precursors.
So, they decided to add caffeine to the perovskite layer of about forty photovoltaic panels and with an infrared spectroscopy they analyzed if there was any kind of alteration. The result was that the interaction between the perovskite and the alkaloid increased the minimum amount of energy, and produced an increase in solar cell efficiency of 17 to 20%.
The molecular structure of caffeine only allows it to interact with perovskite precursors. This, would suppose a differentiating advantage with respect to the usual photovoltaic panels. But, although caffeine seems to improve performance, researchers believe it is not very useful for other types of panels. As they could be those made with silicon.
Caffeine can help the perovskite achieve high performance. Therefore, this method offers more advantages than disadvantages, although it could not be used in conventional plates for its components.
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INMACULADA CASTELLANO TRAINEE
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