Phosphorene nanoribbon on a Perovskite solar cell – Journal cover art

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Phosphorene nanoribbon on a perovskite solar cell
Phosphorene nanoribbons (PNRs) are 2D, ribbon-like strands of phosphorus, which are made of single-atom-thick layers. PNRs were first produced in 2019, and many theoretical studies have predicted how their properties could enhance all kinds of devices, including batteries, biomedical sensors, and quantum computers.

A team led by Imperial College London and University College London researchers has used PNRs to significantly improve the efficiency of solar cells made of perovskites.

Perovskite solar cells can be easily printed into thin, flexible films; PNRs are printed as an extra layer to improve their efficiency. In fact, the team was able to produce perovskite solar cells with an efficiency above 21 per cent, on a par with traditional silicon solar cells.

This journal cover illustration was designed to draw the viewer’s eye to the sinuous forms of the solar cell and the ribbon.

The challenge I faced was: How to make phosphorene the protagonist of the piece, even though it would be impossible to see with a naked eye? The pattern on the ribbon, to which the viewer’s attention is drawn thanks to positioning and color contrast, depicts the chemical structure of this material.

This way, the phosphorene ribbon wraps the solar cell in a beautiful way, hinting to the benefits it provides. The improved efficiency is also symbolized by the shiny effect on the solar cell.

The warm colors of the illustration and the sun shining convey a positive vibe related to the promising applications of this material.

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