Riken announced Oct 5, 2017, that it has found a new candidate material of "perovskite solar cell," which is drawing attention as a next-generation solar cell, by using the "K" supercomputer to carry out a search based on high-efficiency material screening.

With a simulation using the supercomputer, it becomes possible to replace elements of a well-known compound with different elements and theoretically design a compound having new functions prior to an experiment, Riken said.

For hybrid-type halide perovskite solar cells, lead halogen compounds such as methylammonium-lead-iodine and formamidine-lead-iodine are mainly used. While those compounds can be easily synthesized at low costs, they are toxic due to lead. Therefore, a perovskite material using non-toxic elements needs to be developed.