Perovskite solar cells' behavior under real-world conditions is tested - in the lab

Researchers at the lab of Anders Hagfeldt at EPFL, working with colleagues at the lab of Michael Grätzel, brought real-world conditions into the controlled environment of the lab. Using data from a weather station near Lausanne (Switzerland), they reproduced the real-world temperature and irradiance profiles from specific days during the course of the year, to test PSCs in real-world conditions.

PSCs tested for real world conditions in the lab image

With this approach, the scientists were able to quantify the energy yield of the devices under realistic conditions. “This is what ultimately counts for the real-world application of solar cells," says Dr. Wolfgang Tress from EPFL.

Researchers use copper iodide to stabilize perovskite solar cells

A team of Russian-Italian researchers is exploring the use of copper iodide (CuI) as a way to improve the stability of perovskite solar cells. The team from Russia-based institutes NUST MISIS and IPCE RAS, and Italy’s University of Rome Tor Vergata, has applied an additional layer of p-type copper iodide semiconductor, made of molecule of methylammonium lead iodine (MAPbI3), to a perovskite cell for efficient surface passivation.

Researchers use CuI to stabilize PSCs image

According to the authors, the MAPbI3 photoactive layer crystallizes on the surface of a p-type transport layer carrying positive charges and does not demonstrate rapid degradation when exposed to light when accompanied by the release of iodine compounds similar to the used perovskite material. “As we know, under constant illumination and subsequent heating of perovskite solar cells with a photoactive layer of MAPbI3, free iodine and hydrogen acid are released, which harms the interface between the layers of perovskite and NiO, forming a set of defects and significantly reducing the stability and performance of the device”, said Danila Saranin, researcher at NUST MISIS Laboratory for Advanced Solar Energy.

Oxford PV pushes toward commercializing tin-using perovskite solar cells

Oxford PV has shared its plan to bring to market a tin-using, perovskite-based solar cell by the end of next year, according to International Tin Association (ITA). Compared to lead, it is hoped that tin can be a safer, more efficient element in the photovoltaic cell.

“Our perovskite solar cell technology will allow silicon solar cell and module manufacturers to break through their performance barrier,” Oxford PV says on its website. Voices have been heard that Oxford PV has managed to successfully the stability issue and can now bring the technology to the market.

Collaborative team makes a major step forward in the search for stable and practical perovskite-based photovoltaic devices

A collaborative research team from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rice University, Purdue University, Northwestern University, Institut FOTON CNRS UMR 6082 (France) and Argonne National Laboratory has created a number of hybrid perovskite solar cells with a FA0.7MA0.25Cs0.05PBI3 composition and measured them using a variety of techniques including grazing-incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering (GIWAXS) maps at the X-ray Science Division 8-ID-E x-ray beamline of the APS (an Office of Science user facility at Argonne).

casts light on new benefits of perovskite solar cells imageThe experimental setup (top left) and the corresponding light-induced lattice expansion effect, which leads to curing defects and relieving of lattice strain (bottom left) and as a result an increase in the open circuit voltage of a solar cell

In most of the cells, the researchers noted a substantial improvement in PCE from 18.5% to 20.5% under continuous light soaking with a 1-sun (100 mW/cm2) source as the lattice structure of the hybrid cells uniformly expanded. This expansion relieved local strains in the bulk material and better aligned the crystal planes, as evidenced by narrowing and uniform shifting of the Bragg peaks toward lower scattering values as seen by GIWAXS. The researchers explain that constant illumination generates electron-hole pairs in the perovskite material, decreasing the distortions of some bonds while elongating others, resulting in a generalized lattice expansion and relaxation. A similar phenomenon was seen with pure MAPbI3 thin films, suggesting that such lattice expansion under light is common for hybrid perovskite materials.

University of Toledo team reports breakthrough in new material for all perovskite tandem solar cells

Researchers from the University of Toledo have reported progress that may push the performance of tandem perovskite solar cells to new levels. Working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab and the University of Colorado, Dr. Yanfa Yan, UToledo professor of physics, envisions that the new high efficiency tandem perovskite solar cell will be ready to debut in full-sized solar panels in the consumer market in the near future.

"We are producing higher-efficiency, lower-cost solar cells that show great promise to help solve the world energy crisis," Yan said. "The meaningful work will help protect our planet for our children and future generations. We have a problem consuming most of the fossil energies right now, and our collaborative team is focused on refining our innovative way to clean up the mess."