Renewable Energy Power
Solar panels
Scientists have discovered that caffeine can power solar panels

According to foreign media reports, scientists have found that caffeine can make traditional solar panels more effective in converting light into electricity, and it is a promising alternative.

According to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Solargiga Energy, a Chinese solar company, this started with a joke they made when they drank coffee in the morning. "One day, we were talking about perovskite solar panels, and my colleagues said,'Since we need coffee to replenish our energy, what about perovskite? Do they need some coffee?'

This casual idea led researchers to realize that coffee, because it is an alkaloid, has units in its molecular structure that may interact with perovskite precursors. Perovskite is a new type of solar panel absorbing material with special crystal structure.

They added caffeine to the perovskite layers of 40 solar panels and used infrared spectroscopy to identify compounds to determine whether caffeine successfully binds to these substances. After further infrared spectroscopy tests, they found that carbonyl groups in caffeine interact with lead ions to form "molecular locks". Molecular locks increase the activation energy in the crystallization process, provide perovskite films with preferential orientation, improve the electronic properties, reduce ion migration, and increase the efficiency of solar panels from 17% to more than 20%. When the material is heated, the molecular lock will continue to be generated, which will help to prevent heat damage and greatly improve the performance and thermal stability of the battery.

Although caffeine can help perovskite solar panels improve their performance, researchers believe that it does not play a similar role in other types of solar panels.

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