GCL aims for a 1 GW perovskite cell production line in place by 2022

Chinese manufacturer GCL recently indicated that it is nearing commercialization of perovskite solar technology. “Once the conversion rate [of] perovskite is close to what monocrystalline product does, which is coming soon, the only obstacle for perovskite to take [the] place of mono is the limitation of its production capacity,” GCL Nano Technology general manager Fan Bin said at a recent industry conference which considered the potential of perovskite.

Discussing GCL’s work with perovskites, Fan said his company’s lab has achieved a conversion efficiency of 16% on a large panel and he is confident 18% could be achieved by the end of the year. With a theoretical conversion limit of around 33% thought to apply to perovskite cell efficiency – and possibly up to 47% for a tandem device – the manager voiced confidence perovskites would soon surpass the 18% threshold.

Surrey team demonstrates promising perovskite solar cells with half the amount of lead

Researchers from the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) have produced a perovskite solar cell which contains 50% less lead, replaced with the more innocuous tin. By fine-tuning their tin solar cell, the researchers were able to create a product that is able to absorb infrared light in a similar manner as silicon cells. They also found that by stacking lead-only cells with the ones mixed with tin can lead to power conversion results that outperform those of silicon-only power cells.

Indrachapa Bandara, lead author of the study and PhD student at ATI, said: “We are starting to see that many countries are treating the threat of climate change with the seriousness it deserves. If we are to get a handle on the problem and put the health of our planet on the right track, we need high-performing renewable energy solutions.... Our study has shown that tin based perovskite solar cells have an incredible amount of potential and could help countries such as the United Kingdom reach its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050”.

Adding “self-healing” polymer may prevent lead leakage

Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have found that a protective layer of epoxy resin helps prevent the leakage of pollutants from perovskite solar cells (PSCs). Adding a “self-healing” polymer to the top of a PSC can drastically reduce how much lead it discharges into the environment. This may give a boost to prospects for commercializing the technology.

A protective layer of epoxy resin helps prevent the leakage of pollutants from perovskite solar cells

“Although PSCs are efficient at converting sunlight into electricity at an affordable cost, the fact that they contain lead raises considerable environmental concern,” explains Professor Yabing Qi, head of the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit, who led the study. "While so-called ‘lead-free’ technology is worth exploring, it has not yet achieved efficiency and stability comparable to lead-based approaches. Finding ways of using lead in PSCs while keeping it from leaking into the environment, therefore, is a crucial step for commercialization.”

Lead-free halide double perovskites successfully made to emit warm white light

Researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China, University of Toledo in the U.S, Monash University in Australia, Jilin University and Tsinghua University in China, the Dalian Institute in China and the University of Toronto in Canada have examined a lead-free double perovskite that exhibited stable and efficient white light emission. In its mechanism of action, the material produced self-trapped excitons (STEs) due to Jahn-Teller distortion of the AgCl6 octahedron in the excited state of the complex, observed when investigating exciton-phonon coupling in the crystal lattice.

Lead-free halide double perovskites successfully made to emit warm white light image

The research team stated that a fifth of global electricity consumption is based on lighting, and efficient and stable white-light emission with single materials is ideal for such applications. Photon emission that covers the entire visible spectrum is, however, difficult to attain with a single material. Metal halide perovskites, for instance, have outstanding emission properties but contain lead, and so yield unsatisfactory stability. The perovskite in this study is, therefore, lead-free.

KAIST team proposes lead-free, efficient perovskite material for photovoltaic cells

A KAIST research team has proposed a perovskite material, Cs2Au2I6 that serves as a potential active material for highly efficient lead-free thin-film photovoltaic devices. This material is expected to lay the foundation to overcome previously known limitations of perovskite including its stability and toxicity issues.

KAIST team proposes lead-free, efficient perovskite material for photovoltaic cells image

The joint team led by Professor Hyungjun Kim from the KAIST Department of Chemistry and Professor Min Seok Jang from the School of Electrical Engineering analyzed a previously discovered perovskite material, Cs2Au2I6, consisting of only inorganic substances and investigated its suitability for application in thin-film photovoltaic devices. Theoretical investigations suggests that this new perovskite material is not only as efficient but also more stable and environment friendly compared to the conventional perovskite materials.