Science & Technology

New Fabrication Method Improves Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells

A brand new fabrication methodology enabled researchers to make bigger perovskite cells with few defects, leading to greater effectivity. Picture: Brown College/NREL

Scientists from Brown College and the Nationwide Renewable Vitality Laboratory have developed a way for making perovskite cells bigger whereas sustaining effectivity.

Utilizing a newly developed fabrication methodology, a analysis group has attained higher than a 15-percent power conversion effectivity from perovskite photo voltaic cells bigger than one sq. centimeter space. The researchers, from Brown College and the Nationwide Renewable Vitality Lab (NREL), have reported their findings in the journal Advanced Materials.

Perovskites, supplies with a selected crystalline construction, have prompted fairly a buzz within the photo voltaic power world. Perovskite photo voltaic cells are comparatively low-cost to make, and the effectivity with which they’ll convert daylight into electrical energy has been rising quickly in recent times. Researchers have reported effectivity in perovskite cells of greater than 20 p.c, which rivals conventional silicon cells. These excessive effectivity scores, nonetheless, have been achieved utilizing cells solely a tenth of a sq. centimeter — high-quality for lab testing, however too small for use in a photo voltaic panel.

“The use of tiny cells for effectivity testing has prompted some to query comparability of perovskite photo voltaic cells with different established photovoltaic applied sciences,” stated Nitin Padture, professor of engineering at Brown, director of Brown’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, and one of the senior authors of the brand new analysis. “However right here we’ve proven that it’s possible to acquire 15-percent effectivity on cells bigger than a sq. centimeter by means of improved processing. That is actual progress.”

Sustaining excessive effectivity on bigger perovskite cells has proved to be a problem, Padture says. “The issue with perovskite has been that while you attempt to make bigger movies utilizing conventional strategies, you get defects within the movie that lower effectivity.”

The fabrication course of that the Brown and NREL researchers reported on this newest paper builds on a beforehand reported methodology developed by Yuanyuan Zhou, a graduate scholar in Padture’s lab. Perovskite precursors are dissolved in a solvent and coated onto a substrate. Then the substrate is bathed in a second solvent (referred to as anti-solvent) that selectively grabs the precursor-solvent and whisks it away. What’s left is an ultra-smooth movie of perovskite crystals.

On this new examine Zhou and Mengjin Yang, a postdoctoral researcher at NREL, developed a trick to develop the perovskite crystals to a bigger dimension. The trick is so as to add extra natural precursor that originally “glues” the small perovskite crystals and helps them merge into bigger ones throughout a heat-treatment, which then bakes away the surplus precursor.

“The complete protection and uniformity over a big space come from the solvent methodology,” Padture stated. “As soon as we’ve that protection, then we enhance the dimensions of the crystals. That provides us a movie with fewer defects and better effectivity.” The 15-percent effectivity reached on this newest work is an efficient begin, Padture stated, however there’s nonetheless room to enhance. Finally, he want to attain 20 to 25 p.c in large-area cells, and he thinks that mark might be inside attain utilizing this methodology or an identical one.

Padture and colleagues on the College of Nebraska–Lincoln have been not too long ago awarded a $4-million grant by the Nationwide Science Basis to broaden their perovskite analysis.

Different authors on the paper have been Yining Zeng, Chun-Sheng Jiang, and Kai Zhu of NREL. The work was supported by the U.S. Division of Vitality (DE-AC36-08-GO28308 and DE-FOA-0000990) and the Nationwide Science Basis (DMR-1305913).

Publication: Mengjin Yang, etla., “Sq.-Centimeter Answer-Processed Planar CH3NH3PbI3 Perovskite Solar Cells with Efficiency Exceeding 15%,” Superior Supplies, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201502586

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