Researchers develop metal oxide barrier coating to protect perovskite photovoltaics from terrestrial and space stressors

Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), University of North Texas and University of Oklahoma have demonstrated that an ultrathin layer of  silicon oxide layer can harden perovskite photovoltaics to protect it from critical stressors in space and on Earth. 

Space has its own unique environmental challenges for solar cells, perovskite ones included. PSCs have to be resilient against such challenges as “radiation, atomic oxygen, vacuum, and high-temperature operation,” according to the study’s abstract.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 27,2023

Researchers develop a novel approach for stable wide-bandgap perovskite solar cells

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and University of Toledo have developed a new approach to manufacturing perovskite solar cells.

Developing highly stable and efficient perovskites based on a rich mixture of bromine and iodine is considered critical for the creation of tandem solar cells. However, issues with the two elements separating under solar cell operational conditions, such as light and heat, limit the device voltage and operational stability. This challenge is often made worse by the ready defect formation associated with the rapid crystallization of bromine-rich perovskite chemistry with antisolvent processes.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 26,2022

Researchers develop a new method for extremely stable perovskite solar cells

Researchers at Oxford University, ARC Centre of Excellence for Exciton Science at Monash University,  National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have demonstrated a new way to create stable perovskite solar cells, with fewer defects and the potential to rival silicon's durability.

By removing the solvent dimethyl-sulfoxide and introducing dimethylammonium chloride as a crystallization agent, the researchers were able to better control the intermediate phases of the perovskite crystallization process, leading to thin films of greater quality, with reduced defects and enhanced stability.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 09,2022

Researchers use a reactive surface engineering approach to achieve stable and efficient perovskite solar cells

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in collaboration with scientists from the University of Toledo, the University of Colorado–Boulder, and the University of California–San Diego, have announced a technological breakthrough and constructed a perovskite solar cell with the dual benefits of being both highly efficient and highly stable.

A unique architectural structure enabled the researchers to record a certified stabilized efficiency of 24% under 1-sun illumination, making it the highest reported of its kind. The highly efficient cell also retained 87% of its original efficiency after 2,400 hours of operation at 55 degrees Celsius.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 03,2022

NREL team highlights the potential of perovskites for renewable hydrogen production

A recent analysis carried out by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have found that perovskite materials could play an important role in a process to produce hydrogen in a renewable manner.

NREL Scientists Advance Renewable Hydrogen Production Method image

The NREL scientists analyzed an emerging water-splitting technology called solar thermochemical hydrogen (STCH) production, which can be potentially more energy efficient than producing hydrogen via the commonly used electrolysis method. Electrolysis needs electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. STCH relies on a two-step chemical process in which metal oxides are exposed to temperatures greater than 1,400 degrees Celsius and then re-oxidized with steam at lower temperatures to produce hydrogen.

Read the full story Posted: May 08,2022

Researchers present guidelines for testing radiation-tolerating properties of perovskites for use in space

A collaborative research effort involving scientists from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and other collaborators, has examined how well perovskite technology might work in the space, such as for powering satellites. The research group has presented guidelines to test the radiation-tolerating properties of perovskites intended for use in space.

'Radiation is not really a concern on Earth, but becomes increasingly intense as we move to higher and higher altitudes,' commented Ahmad Kirmani, a postdoctoral researcher at NREL and lead author of the new study.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 24,2022

Researchers develop lead-absorbing tapes for sustainable perovskite solar cells

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have developed a way to prevent lead from escaping damaged perovskite solar cells. This could go a long way in addressing concerns about potential lead toxicity.

New film is intended to keep lead from escaping damaged perovskite solar cells imageImage by NREL, from

The light-absorbing layer in perovskite solar cells contains a small amount of lead. Simply encapsulating solar cells does not stop lead from leaking if the device is damaged. Instead, chemical absorption may hold the key. The researchers report being able to capture more than 99.9% of the leakage.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 31,2021

The DoE awards $1.25 million to perovskite research projects, issues an RFI for perovskite efficiency targets

The US Department of Energy (DoE) awarded nearly $40 Million for grid-decarbonizing solar technologies projects. The DoE awarded the funds to 40 research projects, several of which are perovskite related. We'll list the perovskite projects (which were awarded a total of $1.25 million) below.

The DoE also issued a request for information (RFI) to gather input on efficiency, stability and replicability performance targets for perovskite photovoltaic devices that could be utilized to demonstrate technical and commercial readiness for future funding programs.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 20,2021

NREL and NASA test perovskite solar cells in space

Researchers at NREL, working with teams from NASA, are testing ways to bring production costs of solar cells down and transforming how PV technologies could work in space as well.

The latest test will evaluate the potential use of perovskite solar cells in space and assess the durability of materials used in those cells. NASA's Dr. Kaitlyn VanSant worked with Ahmad Kirmani, Joey Luther, Severin Habisreutinger, Rosie Bramante, Dave Ostrowski, Brian Wieliczka, and Bill Nemeth at NREL to prepare the perovskite cells and materials. Eight of these samples are scheduled to launch to the space station in August and another set of 25 samples will be launched in the spring of 2022. The samples, each of which are a square inch in size, are part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) program and will be fastened to the outside of the orbiting platform.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 29,2021

New additive enables perovskite solar modules with 19.2% efficiency

Researchers from the University of North Carolina have developed a mini perovskite solar module with a power conversion efficiency of up to 19.3% efficiency based on a novel approach for interface engineering.

The new device was created using a new technique for stabilizing the embedded perovskite-substrate interfaces in the solar cells. Common approaches, the researchers explained, had previously focused on stabilizing perovskite-metal electrode interfaces through surface passivation or post-fabrication treatment. 'Degradation of perovskite solar cells starts from the interfaces, including both perovskite-metal electrodes and perovskites-substrates, where defects enrich,' the team stated in the new paper. 'Stabilizing the embedded bottom interfaces is as important as that of [the] top interface.'

Read the full story Posted: Aug 25,2021