Perovskite Solar Cell Demonstrates New Level of Stability

Cell produced via industrial-scale process operates at 11.2% efficiency for over a year.

This is a schematic representation of the findings of this study. (MK Nazeeruddin/EPFL.)

This is a schematic representation of the findings of this study. (MK Nazeeruddin/EPFL.)

Perovskite solar cells promise cheaper and efficient solar energy, with enormous potential for commercialization. But even though they have been shown to achieve over 22 percent power-conversion efficiency, their operational stability still fails market requirements.

Despite a number of proposed solutions in fabrication technology, this issue has continued to undercut whatever incremental increases in efficiency have been achieved.

Fortunately, researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have reportedly built a low-cost, ultra-stable perovskite solar cell that has operated for more than a year without loss in performance (at 11.2 percent efficiency). Their work is published in Nature Communications.

The lab of Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin at EPFL, in collaboration with Michael Grätzel and photovoltaic manufacturer Solaronix, has engineered what is known as 2D/3D hybrid perovskite solar cell. These combine the enhanced stability of 2D perovskites with 3D forms, which efficiently absorb light across the entire visible spectrum and transport electrical charges.

In this way, the researchers were able to fabricate of efficient and ultra-stable solar cells, which is a crucial step for upscaling to a commercial level. The 2D/3D perovskite yields efficiencies of 12.9 percent (carbon-based architecture), and 14.6 percent (standard mesoporous solar cells).

The scientists built 10×10 cm2 (4×4 sq in) solar panels using a fully printable industrial-scale process. The resulting solar cells delivered a constant 11.2 percent power conversion efficiency for more than 10,000 hours, while showing zero loss in performance as measured under standard conditions.

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Source: EPFL