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Perovskite solar cell

Scientists use inorganic replacements to achieve improved efficiency and durability in perovskite solar cells

Scientists at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) announced the improvement of power conversion efficiency (PCE) of perovskite solar cells to over 16% while employing cells that were greater than 1 cm2. The high efficiency cells also passed the durability test (exposure to AM 1.5G 100 mW/cm2 sunlight for 1,000 hours), which is considered to be a basic criterion for practical use. These achievements were made by replacing the conventional organic materials with inorganic materials as the electron and hole extraction layers of the solar cells. 

Scientists use inorganic replacements to achieve improved efficiency and durability in perovskite solar cells

The researchers replaced the conventional organic materials with robust inorganic materials for use in electron and hole extraction layers. Since these layers have high electrical resistance, it was necessary to reduce the thickness of the layers to several nanometers. However, as the area of these thin layers increases, the occurrence of defects called pinholes also increases, leading to decreased PCEs. To deal with this problem, the researchers increased the electrical conductivity of these layers by more than 10 times through heavily doping both electron and hole extraction layers. In this way, they fabricated layers that have fewer pinholes over wide areas and are applicable at thicknesses of up to 10 to 20 nm. Using these layers, a PCE of 16% was repeatedly attained while employing cells that were greater than 1 cm2. The use of inorganic materials also contributed to PCE reduction within 10% even after undergoing 1,000 hours of continuous exposure to sunlight at an intensity of 1 sun, demonstrating outstanding reliability. 

Following these encouraging results, the researchers aim to develop more efficient light absorbing material capable of utilizing a greater amount of sunlight and precisely controlling the interfaces in the devices, for achieving higher PCEs and stability. 

Source: Nanowerk via Science








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Thin film allows for scaling up perovskite cells as well as raising its efficiency

A team of Swiss, Chinese and Japanese researchers has found a way to scale up perovskite solar cells without a loss of stability. Instead of changing the perovskite, the researchers added a new element to the device, a thin film light collector that is placed over the cells.

Thin film allows for scaling up perovskite cells as well as raising its efficiency

The film was constructed in two layers, one a positively charged cubic rocksalt semiconductor, the other a sheet of negatively charged titanium oxide. Arriving light causes the perovskite layer to be excited, which results in freed electrons moving through the titanium oxide layer on one side of the film while holes are transported through the other. The result is a protective film covering that actually increases conductivity of the device.

In addition to allowing perovskite based devices to be scaled up, the film also boosted efficiency鈥攖o levels slightly higher than 15%. The film was also found to protect the cells from humidity, which is usually an additional factor holding back the development of perovskite based cells that can be used in the real world.

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Perovskites enable quantum dots for displays, lasers and solar cells

Dyesol awarded $0.5 million grant to pursue high efficiency, low cost solar cell

Australia-based Dyesol has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to commercialize an innovative, very high efficiency perovskite solar cell. ARENA has stated that the funding would enable Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets. As declared, Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV. This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides…

Scientists at Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China, and colleagues have used quantum dots based on perovskites for QD-based light-emitting devices (QLEDs). These (completely inorganic) materials reportedly solve the stability problem of previously developed hybrid organic鈥搃norganic halide perovskites.

Quantum dots (QDs) are nanometer-sized semiconductor materials with highly tunable properties such as bandgap, emission color, and absorption spectrum. These characteristics depend on their size and shape, which can be controlled during the synthesis. The quantum dots’ luminescence wavelength can be tuned by both their size and by the halide ratio. In this research, the team made blue, green, and yellow QLEDs with high quantum yields, using the perovskite quantum dots as the emitting layer. The researchers state that this development could allow the design of new optoelectronic devices, such as displays, photodetectors, solar cells, and lasers.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) developed a process for coating perovskite layers with graphene for the first time, so that the graphene acts as a front contact. A traditional silicon absorber converts the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions and a particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is perovskite. However, it is normally very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell. The HZB scientists…

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Scientists tackle heat loss problem by deploying hot-carrier technology in perovskite solar cells

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that they have figured out a pathway for dealing with the heat loss problem by deploying hot-carrier technology in perovskite solar cells. Hot carrier solar cells offer simplicity of design, low cost, and high efficiency, but are a long way from being commercialized, as one big challenge is revving up the kinetic energy transfer in order to prevent energy loss.

Scientists tackle heat loss problem by deploying hot-carrier technology in perovskite solar cells

This recent study provides a pathway for pushing perovskite levels upwards, possibly as high as 66%. It determines that charge carriers created by absorbing sunlight by the perovskite cells encounter a bottleneck where phonons (heat carrying particles) that are emitted while the charge carriers cool cannot decay quickly enough. Instead, the phonons re-heat the charge carriers, thereby drastically slowing the cooling process and allowing the carriers to retain much more of their initial energy for much longer periods of time. This potentially allows this extra energy to be tapped off in a hot-carrier solar cell.

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DZP Technologies awarded fellowship to support innovative perovskite solar cell research

Dyesol awarded $0.5 million grant to pursue high efficiency, low cost solar cell

Australia-based Dyesol has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to commercialize an innovative, very high efficiency perovskite solar cell. ARENA has stated that the funding would enable Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets. As declared, Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV. This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides…

A project by Cambridge-based DZP Technologies, which also received the prestigious 1851 Industrial Fellowship, targets the development and commercialization of innovative perovskite solar cells. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, aiming to overcome some of the necessary technical hurdles to realize perovskite solar cells.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) developed a process for coating perovskite layers with graphene for the first time, so that the graphene acts as a front contact. A traditional silicon absorber converts the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions and a particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is perovskite. However, it is normally very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell. The HZB scientists…

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Agreement signed to commercialize perovskite solar cell technology

Dyesol awarded $0.5 million grant to pursue high efficiency, low cost solar cell

Australia-based Dyesol has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to commercialize an innovative, very high efficiency perovskite solar cell. ARENA has stated that the funding would enable Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets. As declared, Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV. This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides…

Renewable Energy and Power, a specialist in energy-saving technologies of LED lighting and solar cells, announced that the company signed a consulting agreement with G-Wave of San Jose, CA, to negotiate for license to a major university鈥檚 Perovskite solar cell technology.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) developed a process for coating perovskite layers with graphene for the first time, so that the graphene acts as a front contact. A traditional silicon absorber converts the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions and a particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is perovskite. However, it is normally very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell. The HZB scientists…

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Will perovskite-based memristors someday replace Flash storage?

Dyesol awarded $0.5 million grant to pursue high efficiency, low cost solar cell

Australia-based Dyesol has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to commercialize an innovative, very high efficiency perovskite solar cell. ARENA has stated that the funding would enable Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets. As declared, Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV. This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides…

Researchers at ETH Zurich have built a perovskite-based memristor just 5 nanometres thick. The component has three stable resistive states, and as a result, it can not only store the 0 or 1 of a standard bit, but can also be used for information encoded by three states – the 0, 1 and 2 of a “trit”. This component could, therefore, be useful for a new type of IT that is not based on binary logic, but on a logic that provides for information located ‘between’ the 0 and 1, with interesting implications for what is referred to as fuzzy logic, which seeks to incorporate a form of uncertainty into the processing of digital information.

Another potential application is neuromorphic computing, which aims to use electronic components to reproduce the way in which neurons in the brain process information. The scientists explain that the properties of a memristor at a given point in time depend on what has happened before, and this mimics the behavior of neurons, which only transmit information once a specific activation threshold has been reached.

The researchers have characterized the ways in which the component works by conducting electro-chemical studies. They were able to identify the carriers of electrical charge and understand their relationship with the three stable states, which is important knowledge for materials science which will be useful in refining the way the storage operates and in improving its efficiency.

Memristors (or RRAM memory cells) are much sought-after electronic components that could one day replace flash memory (DRAM) used in USB memory sticks, SD cards and SSD hard drives. They require less energy since they work at lower voltages and can be made much smaller than today’s memory modules. They therefore offer much greater density, which means that they can store more megabytes of information per square millimetre. Memristors are currently, however, only at the prototype stage.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) developed a process for coating perovskite layers with graphene for the first time, so that the graphene acts as a front contact. A traditional silicon absorber converts the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions and a particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is perovskite. However, it is normally very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell. The HZB scientists…

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Perovskite solar cell

Luminescent perovskite nanoplatelets hold potential for tunable, efficient LEDs

Dyesol awarded $0.5 million grant to pursue high efficiency, low cost solar cell

Australia-based Dyesol has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to commercialize an innovative, very high efficiency perovskite solar cell. ARENA has stated that the funding would enable Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets. As declared, Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV. This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides…

Researchers at Ludwig Maximilian Univ. of Munich, Germany (LMU) have succeeded in synthesizing perovskite nanocrystals in the form of ultrathin nanoplatelets whose emission characteristics can be tuned by altering their thickness. The resulting nanoplatelets are about 300 times thinner than the perovskite films conventionally used in the fabrication of solar cells.

Despite their large surface area, these platelets emitted an intense blue luminescence, and the properties exhibited by these minuscule particles were deemed inexplicable in the context of classical physics. The scientists state that they can be accounted for only by the laws of quantum physics, as confirmed by theoretical calculations carried out by the team.

Moreover, not only could platelets of varying thickness be produced in a controlled manner by modifying the conditions of their synthesis, these changes also resulted in striking alterations in their optical properties: In fact, the light emitted by the perovskite nanoplatelets was found to depend on their thickness. By adding layers to the crystal lattice, the researchers were able to progressively change the color of the emitted photoluminescence from violet to blue and finally to green.

The team now hopes to extend the tunability of the radiation emitted by their perovskite nanocrystals over the entire visible range and beyond. This would make it possible to manufacture energy-efficient and economical LEDs that radiate light of virtually any desired color, and these novel nanoplatelets are also ideally suited for use in lasers.

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Graphene as a front contact for silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) developed a process for coating perovskite layers with graphene for the first time, so that the graphene acts as a front contact. A traditional silicon absorber converts the red portion of the solar spectrum very effectively into electrical energy, whereas the blue portions are partially lost as heat. To reduce this loss, the silicon cell can be combined with an additional solar cell that primarily converts the blue portions and a particularly effective complement to conventional silicon is perovskite. However, it is normally very difficult to provide the perovskite layer with a transparent front contact. While sputter deposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) is common practice for inorganic silicon solar cells, this technique destroys the organic components of a perovskite cell. The HZB scientists…

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Metal oxide layers improve the stability of perovskite solar cells

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California NanoSystems Institute have managed to improve the stability of perovskite solar cells by using metal oxide layers. This novel assembly helps increase the service life of this kind of solar cells by over 10 times, with just a minimal loss to its conversion efficiency. 

Metal oxide layers improve the stability of perovskite solar cells

While many reasons exist for the fast disintegration of normally layered perovskite solar cells, the scientists claim that the key reason is the commonly used top organic buffer layer, which does not offer any stability and cannot effectively protect the perovskite material from moisture found in air. The buffer layers are crucial to cell construction as electricity, which is produced by the cell, is extracted through them. In this work, the organic layers were replaced with metal oxide layers, which sandwiched the perovskite material, thus providing adequate moisture protection. The change was very obvious. The newly formed metal oxide cells were able to withstand open-air storage conditions for 60 days at room temperature, and could retain 90% of its original solar conversion effectiveness.

The researchers plan to condense the metal oxide layers further to improve the efficiency and protect the solar cell to extend the service life without compromising its efficiency.

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Improving silver electrodes for low-cost perovskite solar cells

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have revealed the cause for the short lifetime of perovskite solar cells with silver electrodes, and propose a mechanism for preventing it and improving the lifetime of such cells.

Improving silver electrodes for low-cost perovskite solar cells

Silver electrodes are a less-expensive replacement for common gold electrodes, and to keep the cost even lower, the team in this study wanted to use solution-processed method to fabricate the layers of the solar cell, instead of expensive vacuum-based techniques. The problem of using silver electrodes and the solution-based method is that silver gets corroded within days of the solar cell fabrication. The corrosion makes the electrode turn yellow, and reduces the efficiency of the cell. The researchers analyzed the composition of the corroded silver electrode and identified the formation of silver iodide as the reason for the electrode corrosion. They also found that exposure to air accelerates the corrosion, when compared to dry nitrogen gas exposure.

The team suggested a mechanism to control this damage: silver iodide forms because gas molecules from ambient air reach the perovskite material and degrade it, forming iodine containing compounds which diffuse to the silver electrode and corrode it. The migration of both air molecules and iodine-containing compounds could happen through small pinholes present in the spiro-MeOTAD HTL layer. Preventing the formation of pinholes in the spiro-MeOTAD HTL layer is essential for a longer cell lifetime, so the team is working on producing pinhole-free solar cells with the solution-process method, while the production of pinhole-free HTL with the vacuum-based method has already been published by the same group.

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