Researchers use hydroxyapatite to combat lead release from perovskite solar cells

Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed a way to increase the environmental safety of perovskite solar cells by eliminating the lead release from broken cells. Using a bioinspired mineral called hydroxyapatite, a major constituent of human bone, they have created a ‘failsafe’ which captures the lead ions in an inorganic matrix. As a result, if cells are damaged, toxins are stored in an inert mineral, rather than released in the environment.

Unlike silicon solar cells, perovskite solar cells can be mass produced through roll-to-roll processing. Additionally, they are light and can be used in non-traditional settings such as windows and contoured roofs. However, up until now, application has been impacted by potential environmental risks. Perovskite solar cells contain lead, a cumulative toxin, and if the cells get damaged, lead ions may leak.

KAIST and Seoul National University develop high-performance material for Perovskite-based LEDs

A research team, led by Professors Byungsoo Bae at KAIST and Taewoo Lee at Seoul National University, has developed a new perovskite light-emitting diode (PeLED) display material.

PeLED is a type of LED that uses perovskite as a light-emitting material. Currently, the production cost is lower than that of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and quantum dot light emitting diodes (QLEDs), and it has the advantage of enabling sophisticated color realization.

Magnetic lead-free double perovskite could be useful for spintronics devices

An international researchers team recently found that a new “double perovskite” material could become a more environmentally friendly platform for spintronics devices thanks to its lead-free nature. While the material in its current form is only magnetic below 30 K – too low for practical applications – developers at Linköping University in Sweden, together with colleagues in the US, the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia and China, say that their preliminary experiments are a promising step towards making rapid and energy-efficient information storage devices from this novel optoelectronic material.

Recently, researchers discovered that lead halide perovskites display interesting spin properties thanks to lead’s strong spin-orbit coupling. This coupling links the motion of an electron to its quantum spin, and its strength determines how much the intrinsic spin of an electron will interact with the magnetic field induced as the electron moves through the material. Such a coupling is therefore important not only for the magnetic properties of a material, but also for the performance of any spintronics devices.

Bifacial perovskite solar cells could become more environmentally friendly than conventional crystalline silicon devices

Scientists from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Michigan State, Toledo and Wisconsin universities have found bifacial perovskite PV cells have the potential to become more environmentally friendly than conventional crystalline silicon devices, due to their increased energy yield.

The scientists examined sites at Toledo, in Ohio and Golden, Colorado, to take account of high and low latitude and humidity conditions. The researchers analyzed the environmental impact of single-junction, bifacial perovskite cells with high and low bandgaps, and multi-junction devices of the same type with two-terminal (2T) and four-terminal (4T) structures. They quantified the life cycle energy production from the cells under real-world conditions and benefiting from diverse albedo environments including installation above sandstone, concrete, grass and snow.

Sustainable lead management system could solve toxicity issue and promote commercialization of PSCs

Scientists from the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, Kyungpook National University, Sungkyunkwan University, Sejong University and Yonsei University in Korea, in collaboration with Uppsala University in Sweden, Imperial College London and National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the U.S, recently devised a way to sustainably collect pollutants secreted from PSCs without sacrificing the panel itself. Using this new approach, the scientists were able to safely recycle 99.7% of lead in their samples.

Multi-step adsorption process for lead from PSCs image

In the study describing their work, the researchers explain that they're not the first to attempt to tackle this issue, but that previous approaches to adsorbing lead have been limited by the number of naturally occurring lead solvents.