Researchers use special capping layer to achieve flexible solar cells with improved efficiency, stability and reliability

An international team of researchers, including ones from Brown University, EPFL, Dalian University of Technology and Shaanxi Normal University, has developed a flexible thin-film perovskite solar cell with an efficiency of 21.0%.

Flexible perovskite solar cells with simultaneously improved efficiency, operational stability, and mechanical reliability image

The perovskite layer for the cell, which has an “n-i-p” layout, was fabricated using a metal-halide capping layer placed on top of a three-dimensional metal-halide perovskite film. This design reportedly provides hermetically sealed encapsulation, which is traditionally difficult to achieve in flexible perovskite cells, and also enhances the photocarrier properties at the interface between the perovskite film and the hole transport layer (HTL).

Researchers provide insights into the atomic dynamics of halide perovskites

Researchers at Duke University have revealed the illusive molecular dynamics that provide halide perovskites with their desirable properties for solar energy and heat energy applications.

A key contributor to how these materials create and transport electricity reportedly stems from the way their atomic lattice twists and turns in a hinge-like fashion. The results could help materials scientists tailor the chemical recipes of these materials for a wide range of applications in an environmentally friendly way.

The US Air Force awards University of Toledo $12.5 million to develop space-based solar energy sheets

The U.S. Air Force recently awarded the University of Toledo (UToledo) $12.5 million to develop photovoltaic energy sheets that would live in space and harvest solar energy to transmit power wirelessly to Earth-based receivers or to other orbital or aerial instrumentation, such as communications satellites.

UToledo physicists will develop flexible solar cell sheets, each roughly the size of a piece of paper, that can be assembled and interconnected into much larger structures. The team will focus on tandem architectures and work with a variety of combinations of solar cells, perovskites included.

Researchers design a 15.2%-efficient foldable perovskite solar cell with a carbon nanotube electrode

Scientists from South Korea have developed a foldable thin-film device with promising characteristics. Integrating a perovskite cell material and a carbon nanotube electrode, the group fabricated a device that achieved 15.2% efficiency and could be folded more than 10,000 times at a bending radius of 0.5mm.

A 15.2%-efficient solar cell that you can fold in half image

Solar cell materials tend to be quite sensitive. Designing and manufacturing devices that can withstand the stress of being folded and bent is challenging, and many of even the most promising solutions are still quite limited in their flexibility. The scientists at Pusan National University in South Korea took a major step forward in solving this problem, fabricating a device that can be folded down to a ‘bending radius’ – the minimum size of fold possible without causing damage – of 0.5mm.

Power Roll raises US$8 million to scale-up solar film manufacture

Power Roll logo imagePower Roll, a developer of low-cost and lightweight flexible film for energy generation and storage, recently reported raising £3 million (around USD$4.16 million), which joins a previous raise and takes total investment in the firm to £5.8 million (over USD$8 million) over two funding rounds completed in the last six months.

Power Roll is working with a perovskite solar ink, and has already achieved 11% efficiency, with a roadmap to bring this to 20%. Power Roll also states that its substrate is compatible with any photo absorbing ink.