Tokyo Chemical Industry (TCI) is a global supplier of laboratory chemicals and specialty materials. TCI is a leading the next-generation solar technology industry by providing high-quality and reliable materials, including metal halide perovskite precursors such as lead/tin halides and organic onium salts, as well as carrier transporting materials.
TCI recently launched hole selective self-assemble monolayer (SAM) forming agents, 2PACz [Product Number: C3663] , MeO-2PACz [Product Number: D5798] and Me-4PACz [Product Number: M3359] for high performance perovskite solar cells. The company is getting ready to launch some more related materials in 2022. We thought it'd be a good time to catch up with TCI, and have conducted a Q&A with TCI’s Institute for Material Science's general manager, Dr. Taro Tanabe.
Q: Hello Dr. Tanabe, and welcome to Perovskite-Info. Can you provide a short overview of your material portfolio for the perovskite industry?
TCI provides a wide range of perovskite precursors and carrier transporting materials. We'll detail all our material families below.
TCI offers a wide range of high-quality perovskite precursors
Our materials offer three main advantages:
High Purity and Product Variety
We can provide high purity MX2 (M = Pb, Sn, X= I, Br, Cl) as well as organic onium salts with low water content (eg. MAI, FAI, etc). High purity and low water materials can enhance perovskite solar cell performance, such as efficiency and stability. Highly pure PbX2 shows good solubility in polar organic solvents to be appropriate for solution processable device fabrication of the perovskite solar cell. Additionally, TCI minimizes quality variation between lots for realization of high reproducibility.
As TCI’s perovskite precursors are extremely highly purified and ready to use (e.g. Lead(II) Iodide (99.99%, trace metals basis) [Product Number: L0279], customers do not need to perform any further purification.
TCI is now finalizing a technology for producing and purifying large volumes of its perovskite materials, while maintaining high quality. The company's bulk production capabilities enables the perovskite solar cell to be low cost and large area.
Hole-selective SAM forming agents
Recently, Getautis, Albrecht and co-workers developed some hole selective self-assemble monolayer (SAM) forming agents, 2PACz [Product Number: C3663], MeO-2PACz [Product Number: D5798] and Me-4PACz [Product Number: M3359], for high performance perovskite solar cell. 2PACz, MeO-2PACz and Me-4PACz can form a monolayer on a metal oxide surface anchored by the phosphonic acid moiety. These materials are useful for a tandem solar cell because it makes a conformal coverage on rough textures.
A perovskite solar cell using the SAM hole transporting layer can realize more than 20% efficiency without any dopants, and very cost effective because of extremely low material consumption. Organic thin film solar cell (OPV) using 2PACz showed 18.03% power conversion efficiency that is better performance than those of using the existing PEDOT:PSS. Perovskite-Silicon tandem solar cell using Me-4PACz as a hole contact material realized 29.15% efficiency.
- Enable efficient, versatile and stable solar cell devices without additives, interlayers or dopants
- Self-assembly leads to conformal coverage of oxide surfaces (including textured)
- Simple, scalable and extremely cost-effective processing
Leading research institutes and industries that promote solar cell research are aiming to develop and scale-up practical PSC solutions. However, currently many challenges still remain in commercializing PSCs, especially the hole-transporting layer as one of the bottlenecks. The widely used hole-transporting materials (HTMs), Spiro-OMeTAD and PTAA, are too expensive for the production of low cost PSCs. In addition, in order to enhance the conductivity, additives have to be used, but these decrease device stability.
TCI has developed new HTMs TOP-HTM-α1 [Product Number: B5672] and TOP-HTM-α2 [Product Number: T3722]. Unlike Spiro-OMeTAD, PSCs based on TOP-HTM-α1 and TOP-HTM-α2 exhibit significant efficiencies both with and without additives. These HTMs are useful for stable PSCs and are available at reasonable prices. Please visit our site for more information
Q: In 2021 TCI introduced hole selective self-assembled monolayer (SAM) forming agents to boost perovskite PV performance. How was the market reaction to this new material?
A number of academic and industrial researchers are highly interested in these new materials. TCI will add related 2 new products in the upcoming months, and will reinforce the stock availability and maintain the material's quality and functionality.
Q: Are your materials also used for other applications beyond solar cells, such as LEDs, lasers, etc?
Solar panels are indeed the leading perovskite application at the moment, but our original & standard perovskite precursors are also useful for applications such as LEDs, lasers, and more. TCI is working to increase our material availability and maintain the material's quality and functionality at larger scales as industry demand increases.
Q: Where do you see the perovskite industry in 3-5 years? What are the main challenges before we see mass adoption of perovskite panels? What role will TCI's materials play?
The perovskite industry is on the brink of commercial adoption, but some challenges remain - such as reducing production costs, increasing efficiencies and panel stability, and more.
To support the industry, TCI is working to increase our portfolio of highly purified perovskite precursors and highly functionalized carrier transporting materials. The company is optimizing its shipping system to industries and that's an extremely important mission for TCI.
TCI believes that its original materials, especially the Lead Halides (PbX2) are essential for high performance practical perovskite solar panels. These days TCI is focusing on increasing the portfolio and availability of these materials to quickly respond to industrial requirements in the near future. TCI will work to scale up production according to the company's motto: 'from standard laboratory reagents to standard industrial materials'.