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.
“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.”