A multi-institution team of researchers, led by the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, has reported a breakthrough in the flexible solar cell field that may contribute to the development of solar cells on flexible surfaces, including ultra-flexible and wearable energy-harvesting devices.
“Our research is unique in that we have created the first mechanically self-healing perovskite material,” says Blake Finkenauer, lead author of the study and a fourth-year graduate student with Dr. Letian Dou, the Charles Davidson Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue. “Self-healing mechanical damage has only been realized in the organic materials field, typically with insulating materials. By joining dissimilar perovskite and polymer materials, a composite material with both semiconducting and self-healing properties is realized. The polymer acts as a molecular bonding agent with the crystals, which improves both the thermal and mechanical stability compared to the pure perovskite material".