Scientists from the Ural Federal University (UrFU) and the Institute of Organic Synthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (along with their colleagues) have proposed a new type of material for transporting electrons in perovskite solar cells, which has a number of advantages.
The team reported that with the new material, they were able to achieve solar energy conversion efficiency of 12%. "The family of molecules we found carries electrons in PSCs slightly worse than the fullerenes used today, but they are about twice as cheap, much easier to produce, and have a number of other technological advantages," says Gennady Rusinov, associate professor at the Department of Organic Synthesis Technology of UrFU.
Although fullerenes, according to scientists, are the most sought-after electron-transport material for PSCs, they have problems with morphological stability and low light absorption, as well as great difficulty in modifying electronic properties. The costs of synthesis and purification of fullerenes in some cases make their application economically inefficient.
"Our molecules are devoid of the main drawbacks of fullerenes, and their synthesis is very simple, even in large quantities. The optical, electrochemical and electronic properties of our molecules are easily modified. In addition, they are dipoles, which opens up a number of possibilities for improving PSCs," said Rusinov.
Researchers from the Ural Federal University and the Institute of Cosmophysical Research of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences proposed a complete synthesis technique for the new molecules and also studied their thermal stability, electronic and optical properties.