Technical / research

Researchers develop semi-transparent perovskite solar cells with 21.68% efficiency

Researchers from the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, Jusung Engineering and the Jülich Research Center have reported an advancement in the stability and efficiency of semi-transparent perovskite solar cells.

The semi-transparent solar cells achieved an impressive efficiency of 21.68%, which is said to be the highest efficiency to date among perovskite solar cells that use transparent electrodes. Additionally, they showed remarkable durability, with over 99% of their initial efficiency maintained after 240 hours of operation.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 22,2024

Researchers develop triple-junction perovskite–perovskite–silicon solar cell with power conversion efficiency of 24.4%

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) and Leibniz University Hannover have designed triple-junction perovskite–perovskite–silicon solar cells with a record power conversion efficiency of 24.4%. 

Schematic of the solar cell. Image from Energy & Environmental Science

Optimizing the light management of each perovskite sub-cell (∼1.84 and ∼1.52 eV for top and middle cells, respectively), the team maximized the current generation up to 11.6 mA cm−2. Key to this achievement was the development of a high-performance middle perovskite sub-cell, employing a stable pure-α-phase high-quality formamidinium lead iodide perovskite thin film (free of wrinkles, cracks, and pinholes). This enabled a high open-circuit voltage of 2.84 V in a triple junction. Non-encapsulated triple-junction devices retain up to 96.6% of their initial efficiency if stored in the dark at 85 °C for 1081 h.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 22,2024

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 use zinc additives for efficient perovskite solar minimodules

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and CubicPV have developed mini solar modules based on perovskite cells treated with zinc trifluoromethane sulfonate [Zn(OOSCF3)2]. The scientists found that using a small amount of this zinc salt in the perovskite solution can address the issue of interstitial iodides, which are the most critical type of defects in perovskite solar cells that limits efficiency and stability. The zinc salt helps control the iodide defects in resultant perovskites ink and films. 

The scientists explained that this is a low-cost material that is used as an additive at a very small percentage in perovskite inks and that its use makes perovskite module fabrication more reproducible, which helps to also make it cheaper.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 20,2024

Researchers develop a scalable all-perovskite photoelectrochemical system for solar hydrogen generation

Researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) recently set out to develop a scalable photoelectrochemical (PEC) system to produce green hydrogen.

(a) Concept design of NiFeOOH/Ni/FAPbI3 photoanode-based water splitting cell. (b) All-PSK-based encapsulated PEC reactor made of repeated mini-modules. Credit: Nature Energy & Dr Dharmesh Hansora, UNIST

The team explained that for practical photoelectrochemical water splitting to become a reality, highly efficient, stable and scalable photoelectrodes are essential. However, meeting these requirements simultaneously is a difficult task, as improvements in one area can often lead to deterioration in others. To address this challenge, the team developed a formamidinium lead triiodide (FAPbI3) perovskite-based photoanode that is encapsulated by an Ni foil/NiFeOOH electrocatalyst, which demonstrates promising efficiency, stability and scalability. 

Read the full story Posted: Feb 15,2024

Researchers design MA-free inverted perovskite solar cells using charge-modulated molecular bonding

Researchers from Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Hokkaido University have designed an inverted “n-i-p” perovskite solar cell with a new bond/charge regulated defect passivation technique, enabled by introducing bifunctional molecules onto the perovskite absorber. The device exhibited a low open circuit voltage deficit and impressive stability.

The newly-fabricated solar cell with was based on a perovskite material that doesn't contain methylammonium (MA) molecules. These molecules have intrinsic thermal instability and contribute to increasing the typical thermal instability of perovskite PV devices.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 15,2024

Researchers develop perovskite-based synapses for neuromorphic vision sensors

Much research work is put into emulating the human vision system, that can effortlessly and efficiently interpret the visual world despite the barrage of fragmented data that strikes the retina. Neuromorphic visual sensors (NVS) based on photonic synapses hold great promise towards that end, but current photonic synapses rely on delicate engineering of the complex heterogeneous interface to realize learning and memory functions, resulting in high fabrication costs, reduced reliability, high energy consumption and uncompact architecture, severely limiting the up-scaled manufacture, and on-chip integration. 

The concept of an artificial visual system mimicking the biological system. a) The biological visual system consisting of the retina (receiving and preprocessing), optic nerves (transmitting), and the visual center (processing and memory system) and a multilayer structure of a retina. b) The artificial visual system based on a 2T vertical photodetector of ITO/(BA)2PbI4/ITO. The exciton-ion coupling is responsible for the nonvolatile photocurrent. Image from Advanced Materials

Now, researchers at Nanjing Normal University, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and RMIT University have reported a nanomaterials-based approach using solution grown hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (OIHP) that intrinsically unites both photodetection and dynamic, adaptive synaptic signal modulation within single micron scale elements.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 10,2024

Researchers develop new sieving technique for better perovskite LEDs

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), University of Nottingham Ningbo China and University of Science and Technology of China have developed a novel solvent sieve method that significantly enhances the performance and operational stability of perovskite light-emitting diodes (PeLEDs).

Perovskites' practical application in PeLEDs has thus been constrained by their low operational stability. The recent research, centered on a comprehensive analysis of perovskite nanostructures, identified the presence of defective low n-phase perovskites as a primary factor undermining device stability. These defective phases, characterized by a minimal number of lead ion layers, arise from rapid and uncontrolled crystallization processes. The simple solvent sieve treatment reported in this study addresses this issue and improves the efficiency and stability potentials of high-brightness perovskite light-emitting diodes for future commercial applications.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 06,2024

Researchers develop strategy that enables world's most efficient quantum dot solar cell

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) researchers have developed solar cells using narrow bandgap organic cation-based perovskite-based quantum dots (PQDs) and demonstrated substantially higher efficiency compared with their inorganic counterparts. 

The team stressed that research to this point has predominantly focused on inorganic cation PQDs despite the fact that organic cation PQDs have more favorable bandgaps. However, the recent study unveiled a novel ligand exchange technique, that enables the synthesis of organic cation-based PQDs, ensuring exceptional stability while suppressing internal defects in the photoactive layer of solar cells.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 04,2024

Researchers develop moisture-transmitting and durable thermochromic perovskite smart windows

Researchers at City University of Hong Kong, Zhejiang University and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have designed a unique triple-layer thermochromic perovskite window (MTPW) that enables sufficient water vapor transmission to trigger the thermochromism but effectively repel detrimental water and moisture to extend its lifespan. The scientists explained they drew inspiration from the structure of medical masks.

Schematic of the trilayer structure and working principle of an antivirus medical mask. b Schematic of the trilayer structure and working principle of the MTPW for repelling water and excess water vapor. Image from Nature Communications

This research addresses the two main challenges hindering the development of thermochromic perovskite smart windows, namely, poor durability and optical blurriness. The MTPW demonstrates superhydrophobicity and maintains a solar modulation ability above 20% during a 45-day aging test, with a decay rate 37 times lower than that of a pristine TPW. It can also immobilize lead ions and significantly reduce lead leakage by 66 times.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 01,2024