Australia-based Greatcell Solar Materials produces and supplies perovskite materials, and is one of the industry's pioneer companies. We conducted an interviw with Dr. Yanek Hebting, Greatcell's general manager, who updates us on the company's business, material and his views on the perovskite industry.
Hello Dr. Hebting, Thank you for this Q&A. Can you introduce us to Greatcell Solar Materials?
Greatcell Solar Materials Pty Ltd was created in October 2018 as the spin-off of the Materials Division of Greatcell Solar, formerly Dyesol. Greatcell Solar Materials is a manufacturer and supplier of materials (including perovskite precursors, dyes, ligands, titania pastes, electrolytes as well as components) for energy system applications to the photovoltaics research sector and the electronics industry.
All products are manufactured and shipped from our facility in Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
Can you tell us a bit about the demand for perovskite materials? Does it come mostly for research, or pilot lines?
As COVID restrictions around the world have eased and global activity resumed, the demand for perovskite materials has significantly increased since.
Greatcell Solar Materials provides both bulk quantities for industrial partners as well as small quantities for research purposes. The demand for research purpose will always be a part of the demand, it is exciting to see some pilot lines take fruition and begin the process of commercialization.
Can you tell us what is your most popular perovskite material?
It is difficult to assign a popular product as there are a great variety of architectures as well as a large array of applications for perovskite PV which use different formulations. Nevertheless, from a historical point of view, the Methylammonium and Formamidinium salts are the most prominent movers. It is interesting however to observe the recent growth of specific materials that were brought to market many years ago such as the Phenethylammonium salts functionalised in position 4.
We are please to see that these products are finally endorsed by researchers and have a specific purpose. After all, this is our main goal, to provide pioneering materials to researchers to address specific challenges.
What kind of production processes are the most popular for your materials? Will that be inkjet printing, or other processes?
Similarly to the point aforementioned, it is difficult to provide a conclusive answer due to the variety of processes used, ranging from vapor deposition to liquid / nucleation processes. Also, as the technology matures to market, we expect large scale processes to be kept confidential.
Do you offer and sell materials for other perovskite applications, such as QDs, displays, etc?
Greatcell Solar Materials offers a large diversity of materials for a wide range of perovskite-based applications. We have developed specific formulations for clients in the display technology field. We are also continuously releasing new materials for applications such as perovskite based piezoelectric and ferroelectric applications.
In addition to perovskite materials, you also offer other materials (DCS, sealants, additives) for solar panels. Can you tell us more about these materials? Do you see much interest for DSSC panel materials?
Greatcell Solar Materials has maintained the portfolio of products related to the Dye Sensitized Solar Cell technology due to the ongoing demand of these products, most importantly, our titania pastes.
The demand is less than it used to be in the year preceding the inception of PSC, but many research groups are still actively engaged in Dye based projects ranging from liquid electrolyte-based system to solid state ones.
Do you think there is a potential for indoor perovskite solar panels, for IoT and other applications?
We think that the current drive is for outdoor application due to the shear volume of potential installations (residential and industrial rooftops, solar farms etc.) and when commercial products are available for outdoor applications, the downstream products for indoors applications will follow. However, we have also seen the emergence of consumer electronic products containing PSC and other solid state PV systems emerge recently and thus both approaches are being pursued.
The PSC technology is well versed to consumer electronics, due to its simple and versatile adaptability and thus it can easily be translated to low volume high value products.
How do you see the perovskite market today, and in 3-5 years? When do you expect to see the first residential panels on the market?
We have seen many pilot line developments for panels emerge, as well as small devices used in retail products starting to upscale in production. This indicates that we are near the emergence of commercialized, ready-to-buy products.
Greatcell Solar Materials’ capabilities stand ready to support our partners and collaborators as they transition into the commercial market.
It is an exciting time for PSC, we look forward to being a part of this change for a greener future.
What can we expect to see from Greatcell Solar Materials in the next 12 months?
Greatcell Solar Materials is sponsoring and is attending the PSCO Conference in Oxford this year. At this conference we plan to announce the launch of a new class of perovskite precursors available in three innovative subcategories to the market.
Thank you Dr. Hebting, good luck to both you and Greatcell. Looking forward to hear about your new class of materials soon!