Researchers develop novel lead-free antimony-based perovskite solar modules

Lead-halide perovskites hold great promise as the next generation of PVs, but unstable lead exposure through gas, water, and soil accumulation could have detrimental consequences if not properly controlled and recycled as perovskite use expands globally. There are also stability issues limiting operational lifetime for lead-perovskite devices themselves. Researchers have attempted to replace lead with slightly less toxic tin, but thus far tin-based perovskites still suffer from air instability. Without breakthroughs in stability and environmental safety, scaling perovskite solar technology could flood our waste stream with hazardous materials. Now, researchers from CHOSE (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy) at the University of Rome Tor Vergata have addressed the concerns regarding toxicity and recyclability associated with the lead contained in perovskite solar cells. 

Image credit: ACS Energy Letters 

The scientists may have found a solution in a new lead-free antimony-based perovskite solar cell design. Their recent research demonstrates a mixed-cation perovskite-inspired material (PIM) that boosted efficiency by 81% compared to conventional cesium-only antimony solar cells, while also exhibiting unmatched stability.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 21,2024

Researchers develop new passivation technique for better lead-free perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells

Researchers from Japan's University of Electro-Communication and CAR MATE MFG. CO. have developed a lead-free tin sulfide solar cell that is intended for applications in tandem perovskite-silicon PV devices. 

Using a new passivation technique based on the use of phenylsilane (PhSiH3) as a reducing agent, the scientists were able to considerably increase the cell's efficiency compared to a reference device with no PhSiH3 treatment.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 07,2024

Researchers simulate perovskite/CIGS tandem cell with 38.39% efficiency

Researchers from Southeast University and the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh have designed and simulated an all-inorganic lead-free tandem photovoltaic cell based on copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS) thin-film technology and perovskite.

The proposed top cell (a) and bottom cell (b), image from Heliyon

The novel device architecture is said to have the potential to reach a power conversion efficiency of 38.39%. “The main objective of this work is to find an efficient combination of non-toxic solar cells with high efficiency so that it saves time and effort before going for fabrication,” the scientists said in their work, noting that the perovskite and materials used for the cell are lead-free.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 04,2023

Researchers evaluate the design and performance of a lead-free Cs2TiX6-based heterostructure perovskite solar cell

Researchers from Southeast University in Bangaladesh and U.S-based Rochester Institute of Technology have examined the performance of a lead-free Cs2TiX6-based n–i–p type heterostructure perovskite solar cell design, performed using a one-dimensional device simulator, also known as the SCAPS-1D. 

The design makes use of Cs2TiCl6 as an n-type front absorber, Cs2TiI6 as an I (intrinsic)-layer absorber and Cs2TiBr6 as a p-type absorber. NiO (p) and ZnO (n) are utilized as the hole transport material and electron transport material. The fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) acts as a front contact, conductive oxide, while Pt (platinum) is used as the back contact. 

Read the full story Posted: Sep 27,2023

Researchers design “cage traps” for lead management of perovskite solar cells

Researchers from Zhengzhou University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have devised a novel lead capturing technique for perovskite solar cells: they implanted a multifunctional mesoporous amino-grafted-carbon net into the perovskite solar cells, creating biomimetic cage traps that could effectively mitigate Pb leakage and shield from external invasion under extreme weather conditions. 

The team then explored the synergistic Pb capturing mechanism in terms of chemical chelation and physical adsorption. Additionally, the Pb contamination assessment of end-of-life perovskite solar cells in the real-world ecosystem, including Yellow River water and soil, was proposed by the scientists. 

Read the full story Posted: Aug 07,2023

Researchers use lead-free anti-perovskite nanocrystals for tunable emission and ultrastable X-ray imaging

Researchers from China's Zhejiang University and South China University of Technology have developed transparent glassy composites based on lead-free anti-perovskites in a novel approach that could revolutionize X-ray imaging.

There is a high demand for high-resolution and ultrastable X-ray imaging methods in various fields, like material inspection, medical diagnostics, astronomical discovery, and scientific research. This demand has ignited a vigorous pursuit of innovative X-ray-responsive materials that must possess exceptional qualities such as high X-ray attenuation, efficient scintillation, rapid light decay, and robust durability. Among them, lead-halide-based perovskites have emerged as a compelling contender due to their remarkable luminescence efficiency, superior X-ray attenuation capabilities, and short fluorescence lifetimes. However, their application in the scintillation field is hindered by the toxicity of heavy metal lead (Pb), low photon yield caused by self-absorption effects, and poor X-ray irradiation stability.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 12,2023

EU's Project SUNREY targets sustainable and efficient perovskite solar cells with reduced lead content

Project SUNREY (”Boosting SUstaiNability, Reliability and EfficiencY of perovskite PV through novel materials and process engineering”) is a three-year project which started on November 1, 2022. It is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam, Germany. The project aims to further the development of highly-efficient solar cells based on non-critical raw materials (with a focus on making perovskite solar cells more sustainable, efficient and durable) and to strengthen the innovation potential of the European industry. 

SUNREY is funded by the European Union’s research and innovation program Horizon Europe within the framework of the Green Deal Initiative with 4.25 Million Euro. 

Read the full story Posted: Mar 08,2023

Researchers develop new approach for lead-free capping materials

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore have developed a method for capping materials based on non-toxic metals being used in the manufacture of perovskite solar cells.

(Left) A diagram showing the different layers of the perovskite solar cell capped with the zinc-based capping material fabricated by the researchers. (Right) The dotted green rectangle indicates the active region of the perovskite solar cell that captures sunlight and converts it to electricity. Image: NTU Singapore / Nature Energy

Perovskite solar cells are made of several layers of materials, including a perovskite layer that harvests light and a capping layer. The capping layer is coated onto the perovskite layer to protect the solar cell from environmental stresses such as heat and moisture and to boost the performance of the cell. To ensure that the capping layer is compatible with the underlying perovskite layer, researchers typically use an approach called the half precursor (HP) method to fabricate the capping layer. One of the precursor chemicals is first deposited on top of the perovskite layer which provides the other precursor. Through a process known as cation exchange reaction, the deposited precursor then reacts with lead ions present in the perovskite layer beneath to form a lead-based chemical compound that makes up the capping layer. As a result of the HP method, lead is also present in the protective capping layer. A method that enables non-toxic metals to be used in the capping layer could be a game-changer for perovskite solar cells.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 25,2023

Researchers examine interfacial interactions of lead-free perovskites for efficient hydrogen production

A research team from City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Curtin University, National Taiwan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Nankai University and Polish Academy of Sciences recently developed a lead-free perovskite photocatalyst that delivers highly efficient solar energy-to-hydrogen conversion.

The team unveiled the interfacial dynamics of solid-solid (between halide perovskite molecules) and solid-liquid (between a halide perovskite and an electrolyte) interfaces during photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. The latest findings open up an avenue to develop a more efficient solar-driven method for producing hydrogen fuel in the future.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 18,2023

Researchers fabricate solar cells based on gold polyhalide hybrid perovskite

Researchers at the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology have presented the ionic liquid (IL) synthesis of two novel pseudo-2D perovskite-type gold(III)polyiodide compounds and their use as active layers in monolithic solar cells.

The team stated that its recent work represents the first demonstration of film deposition of gold iodide/polyiodide compounds onto porous monolithic substrates with subsequent solar cell characterization. The devices reportedly showed promising photovoltaic performance and could unlock new materials design possibilities, ultimately moving away from lead-based photovoltaic materials. These findings further highlight the use of simple polyiodide entities to increase the structural and electronic dimensionality of gold perovskite-type anions.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 14,2023