July 2023

Hyundai Motor Group unveils silicon/perovskites tandem solar cells for future mobility applications

South Korea’s automotive giant, Hyundai Motor Group, recently unveiled several new nanotechnologies for future mobility at the Nano Tech Day 2023 event in Seoul. 

Besides inventions like a “self-healing polymer coating” that enables the car to repair its own scratches, perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells were also introduced. It was said that Hyundai Motor Group believes that by applying tandem solar cells to areas that receive direct sunlight, such as the engine compartment cover, top panel, and doors of eco-friendly vehicles, it will be possible to generate enough electricity for daily driving.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 31,2023

Researchers use additivization strategy to develop water stable perovskites

Researchers from Spain's BCMaterials, University of Barcelona and IKERBASQUE have developed water stable perovskites, by adopting a unique additivization strategy to stabilize the FAPI alpha phase. 

Thanks to their thermal stability along with a monocationic and anionic nature, formamidinium lead triiodide (FAPI) perovskites have emerged as an attractive material to avoid thermal degradation and phase segregation and promising photoactive materials for perovskite solar cells. However, the unfavorable phase transition from cubic (3C) to hexagonal (2H) due to the lower formation energy of the latter hinders its immediate use. Stabilizing the 3C phase of FAPI against atmospheric stresses is a critical challenge in PSC research, and the goal of this recent study.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 30,2023

Teknisolar joins PEPPERONI project

Italy-based equipment manufacturer Teknisolar will become a partner of the PEPPERONI project, a four-year research and innovation project co-funded under Horizon Europe and jointly coordinated by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Qcells. The project aims to support Europe in reaching its renewable energy target of climate neutrality by 2050, and it will also help advance perovskite/silicon tandem photovoltaic (PV) technology’s journey toward market introduction and mass manufacturing.

In its role in the PEPPERONI project, Teknisolar will design a pilot lamination line through a series of in-house tests on perovskite solar panels to later improve upon the design through implementation on the pilot line. Teknisolar’s ultimate goal is to extend the lamination technology from pilot line to gigawatt scale (mass production). PEPPERONI comprises 17 partners from 12 countries, combining European knowledge and expertise from fundamental research to small-scale testing and development of solar cells, all the way to high-throughput industrial manufacturing of large solar modules.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 29,2023

Researchers explore the fatigue behavior of 2D hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites

Researchers from Texas A&M University, Northwestern University, University of South Florida and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have studied the fatigue behavior of 2D hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) in practical applications.

The application of repeated or fluctuating stresses below the material's strength, known as fatigue loading, often leads to failure in 2D hybrid materials. However, the fatigue properties of HOIP materials have remained elusive despite their widespread use in various applications. The research group demonstrated how fatigue loading conditions, wearing different components, would affect the lifetime and failure behavior of the materials. Their results provide insights into designing and engineering 2D HOIPs and other hybrid organic-inorganic materials for long-term mechanical durability.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 29,2023

Researchers report high-bandwidth perovskite photonic sources on silicon

A collaborative project involving over 10 laboratories and research institutes from Surrey, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Warwick, UCL, EMPA and UESTC, has investigated how to release high-speed photonic sources using metal-halide perovskites. 

The team reported a holistic approach for realizing fast perovskite photonic sources on silicon based on tailoring alkylammonium cations in perovskite systems. The scientists revealed the recombination behavior of charged species at various carrier density regimes relevant for their modulation performance. They demonstrated perovskite devices with efficient light outcoupling and achieved device modulation bandwidths of up to 42.6 MHz and data rates above 50 Mbps, with further analysis suggesting that the bandwidth may exceed gigahertz levels. The principles developed in this work have the potential to support the development of perovskite light sources for next-generation data-communication architectures. The demonstration of solution-processed perovskite emitters on silicon substrates also opens up the possibility of integration with micro-electronics platforms.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 28,2023

EU approves €89.5M Aid for 3Sun's solar plant expansion

The European Commission recently approved, under EU State aid rules, a €89.5 million (over USD$99 million) Italian measure made available through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (‘RRF') to support the expansion of 3Sun's solar panel plant in Catania, Sicily. 

The aid will take the form of a €89.5 million direct grant to support 3Sun's investment for the expansion of its solar panels factory in Catania, Sicily. 3Sun is part of the Enel Group. The project will expand the annual capacity of 3Sun's existing plant from 200 MW to more than 3 GW. It will also introduce tandem perovskite PV technology, which will improve the panel efficiency and therefore increase the energy generated by each MW installed. The factory will be the largest solar panels manufacturing site in Europe, which will ultimately reduce the EU dependency on imports from foreign manufacturers. 

Read the full story Posted: Jul 27,2023

Researchers develop novel materials acceleration platform to identify perovskite materials with desirable properties for PSCs

Researchers from North Carolina State University, National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Rey Juan Carlos University have created a novel materials acceleration platform (MAP), essentially a robot capable of conducting experiments more efficiently and sustainably to develop a range of new semiconductor materials with desirable attributes. The researchers have demonstrated that the new technology, called RoboMapper, can rapidly identify new perovskite materials with favorable properties and improved potential for creating stable and efficient solar cells.

“RoboMapper allows us to conduct materials testing more quickly, while also reducing both cost and energy overhead – making the entire process more sustainable,” says Aram Amassian, corresponding author of a paper on the work and a professor of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 26,2023

Researchers use perovskites and electrocatalysts to create a device that turns sunlight into hydrogen

Researchers from Rice University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CNRS and HZB have designed a conductive adhesive-barrier (CAB) that translates >99% of photoelectric power to chemical reactions. The device combines halide perovskites with electrocatalysts and could serve as a platform for a wide range of chemical reactions that use solar-harvested electricity to convert feedstocks into fuels.

The CAB enables halide perovskite-based photoelectrochemical cells with two different architectures that exhibit record solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiencies. 

Read the full story Posted: Jul 24,2023

Researchers develop an autonomous wearable biosensor powered by a perovskite solar cell

Sweat is less invasive to collect than blood, and can tell a lot about a person's health. This is the premise behind the wearable sweat sensors developed by Wei Gao, assistant professor of medical engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Over the past five years, Gao has steadily added features to his wearables, making them capable of reading out levels of salts, sugars, uric acid, amino acids, and vitamins as well as more complex molecules like C-reactive protein that can provide timely assessment of certain health risks. Most recently, in collaboration with Martin Kaltenbrunner's group at Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria, Gao has powered these wearable biosensors with a flexible perovskite solar cell (FPSC).

Perovskite is as much as 1,000 times thinner than silicon solar cell layers, making them "quasi-2D" in Gao's terms. Perovskites can also be tuned to the spectra of different lighting, from outdoor sunlight to various forms of indoor lighting. Importantly, perovskite solar cells can achieve a higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) than silicon, which means they can convert a greater proportion of the light they receive into usable electricity. The flexible perovskite solar cell (FPSC) on Gao's wearable sweat sensor has a record-breaking PCE exceeding 31 percent under indoor light illumination. 

Read the full story Posted: Jul 23,2023

Researchers develop high-performance UV light detector using layered perovskites and textured silicon heterojunction

Researchers from the Zhengzhou University of Light Industry have developed a UV detector of (BA)2PbCl4/textured silicon (BA = n-butylammonium) heterojunction by depositing (BA)2PbCl4 thin film on textured silicon. 

High performances of a rapid UV light response (trise = tfall = 0.24 s), high responsivity (8.16 mA/W), and a low detection limit (7.5 μW/cm2) were reportedly obtained from the designed detector, which were ascribed the unique morphology and structure of the detector. 

Read the full story Posted: Jul 22,2023