Russian team proposes a way to increase the efficiency of perovskite-based solar batteries

Oct 06, 2017

Researchers from Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia explained how changing the ratio of components forming the light-absorbing layer of a perovskite solar cell influences the structure of created films and battery efficiency.

MSU team boosts the efficiency of perovskite solar batteries image

Perovskites can be used to create perovskite solar batteries, which are a relatively new area of R&D, but are showing promise in terms of efficiency and function. In their previous work, the researchers found out that filiform (wire-like) hybrids of perovskites have acquired their shape because of the structure of intermediate compounds, which are formed during the process of perovskite crystallization. The team has discovered a whole group of these compounds, every one of which is a crystalline solvate. The crystalline solvates are crystalline compounds with the molecules of the precursor components' solvent built into their structure. The dissolved components precipitate from the solution and form a crystalline film of perovskite.

Israeli researchers report on the high power conversion efficiency of bromide-based quasi 2D perovskite solar cells

Oct 03, 2017

A team of researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, led by Prof. Lioz Etgar, investigated the optical and physical properties of bromide quasi 2D perovskites synthesized using different barrier molecules. The team reports on the high power conversion efficiency (PCE) and high open circuit voltage (Voc) of bromide-based quasi 2D perovskite solar cells.

High efficiencies of quasi 2D perovskite solar cells image

The various bromide quasi 2D perovskites were introduced into two PV cell configurations (with and without HTM). The use of the quasi 2D perovskite as an absorbing layer in PSCs reportedly yields improved efficiencies and open circuit voltage as compared to 3D PSCs. Different barriers in the quasi 2D structures have been shown to affect the photovoltaic performance; the cells' performance is reduced when increasing barrier length. However, the perovskite's hydrophilic character is suppressed with an increase in the chain length of the barrier molecule.

Oxford PV to receive funds for German perovskite pilot site

Oct 03, 2017

Oxford Photovoltaics is to receive financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for its planned pilot site in Germany. The bank is considering providing EUR 15 million ($17.6 million USD) for the project, which will turn an existing PV thin-film module factory in Germany into a "first-of-its-kind" plant for the production of tandem silicon-perovskite PV cells.

According to EIB, the site will allow the company to demonstrate its perovskite technology at full wafer scale in pilot volumes and deploy perovskite on silicon tandem cells. The total cost of the project is EUR 30 million.

Clemson researchers secure $1 million to study perovskite materials for nuclear energy management

Oct 02, 2017

Researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina received two new grants that together total more than $1 million for researching related to nuclear energy, in which they will focus on perovskite materials.

One of the researchers will be working on ways to dispose of tritium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear reactors that makes its way through the ecosystem into the water and food supply, posing a radioactive health hazard if ingested. The goal is to develop a membrane similar to an air or oil filter that would separate tritium from the water that is used in creating nuclear energy. Another scientists' grant pays for a specialty microscope that will be the only one of its kind in South Carolina. Collaborators are involved in both projects. The researchers will experiment with different materials in the form of powders, primarily focusing on the naturally occurring mineral perovskite.

EPFL team reports record stability levels for CuSCN PSCs

Oct 01, 2017

Researchers from the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) report the "highest stability levels for CuSCN perovskite to date". The cells retained 95% of their initial stability, with an efficiency level of 20%. The researchers, using a thin layer of reduced graphene oxide, manages to get the performance of the perovskite solar cells to drop by less than 5% when the cells were placed under 60°C sunlight for more than 1000 hours.

The EPFL scientists have concluded that CuSCN stands out as a stable, efficient and cheap option. However, earlier research has produced only moderate efficiency and stability improvements. In order to resolve these issues, the team developed a simple dynamic solution-based method for depositing highly conformal, 60-nm thick CuSCN layers. This facilitates the construction of perovskite cells with stabilized power-conversion efficiencies above 20%.

A new method helps grow centimeter-scale perovskite crystals

Sep 27, 2017

A collaboration between KAUST and Oxford University researchers has designed a strategy that grows perovskites into centimeter-scale, highly pure crystals thanks to the effect of surface tension. In their natural state, perovskites have difficultly moving solar-generated electricity because they crystallize with randomly oriented grains. The team is working on ways to speed up the flow of these charge carriers using inverse temperature crystallization (ITC) - a technique that uses special organic liquids and thermal energy to force perovskites to solidify into structures resembling single crystals (the optimal arrangements for device purposes).

New method helps grow cm-sized perovskite crystals image

While ITC produces high-quality perovskites far faster than conventional chemical methods, the intriguing mechanisms that initiate crystallization in hot organic liquids are poorly understood. The team recalls spotting a key piece of evidence during efforts to adapt ITC toward large-scale manufacturing. "At some point, we realized that when crystals appeared, it was usually at the solution's surface," the researchers said. "And this was particularly true when we used concentrated solutions".

Toshiba fabricates an efficient perovskite mini module

Sep 25, 2017

Toshiba recently announced the fabrication of a film-based perovskite solar cell mini module with an impressive conversion efficiency of 10.5%. This efficiency rate was achieved in a 5 cm x 5 cm module and is stated by the company to be the highest yet recorded in a multi-cell mini module.

Toshiba achieves efficient perovskite cell image

Toshiba achieved this by developing a fabrication process technology for film-based perovskite solar cells. The technology uses a film substrate and scribe process technology based on organic thin film solar cell module fabrication. Since this technology uses a flexible film substrate, it allows roll-to-roll fabrication that reduces costs. Toshiba will continue to refine the technology and expects to see further improvements in efficiency.