Monday, October 16, 2023

US Researchers Achieve Record 25.1% Efficiency with Large Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cell

US scientists have achieved a breakthrough in photovoltaic (PV) cell technology by creating a large-area perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell measuring 24 cm2. This tandem cell has achieved a remarkable steady-state power conversion efficiency of 25.1%. To overcome common issues associated with scaling up perovskite solar technologies, such as shunting losses that create alternate pathways for solar-generated charge and lead to power losses, the researchers inserted a lithium fluoride (LiF) interlayer between a hole transport layer (HTL) and a wide bandgap (WBG) perovskite absorber. This interlayer improves physical contact and reduces shunting. The tandem cell demonstrated an efficiency of 25.2% under standard conditions, making it one of the most efficient two-terminal tandem devices for areas exceeding 10 cm2. This development holds promise for efficient, reproducible, and large-scale perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells.

Current-voltage curves for a perovskite mini-module with an aperture area of 42.9 cm2 Image: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil, Cell Reports Physical Science, Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0

ALD is an important technology in perovskite solar cell fabrication. It enables precise, nanoscale control of layer thickness, ensuring uniform coverage even on complex surfaces. ALD is used for depositing passivation layers to reduce defects and enhance stability, creating protective barriers against environmental factors, engineering interfaces for improved charge transport, and ensuring compatibility with various materials. These applications contribute to improving the efficiency and long-term stability of perovskite solar cells, making ALD an essential tool in their development and optimization.

For deployment in solar cells, "perovskite" denotes a particular class of materials employed as the light-absorbing layer. These perovskite solar cells utilize a group of materials characterized by a crystalline structure akin to that of the mineral perovskite, named after Russian mineralogist Lev Perovski. Typically, these materials are comprised of organic-inorganic hybrid compounds, with common examples including methylammonium lead iodide (CH3NH3PbI3) and formamidinium lead iodide (HC(NH2)2PbI3). Perovskite solar cells have garnered substantial interest due to their potential for high efficiency, cost-effectiveness in production, and simplified manufacturing processes. Researchers are diligently working to enhance the efficiency, stability, and scalability of perovskite solar cells to position them as a competitive and sustainable renewable energy solution.

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