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An important breakthrough in Perovskite solar cells

  A sample of all inorganic Perovskite solar cells

A sample of a completely inorganic perovskite solar cell is a step towards commercial use, according to Rice University scientists. Discovering them as a way to suppress defects in solar cells by cesium-lead-iodide has allowed them to preserve the gaps of the material, which is a critical property for the efficiency of solar cells. Credit: Jeff Fitlow / Rice University

Rice University materials scientists use inorganic ingredients to limit defects in order to maintain their effectiveness.

Rice University scientists believe they have overcome a serious obstacle by holding perovskite-based solar cells from reaching mass use. [1

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PhD student at Rice University Jia Liang owns perovskite solar cells designed with all inorganic materials Controlling defects in cells by eliminating organic components makes them healthier while maintaining power-conversion efficiency. u Fitlow / Rice University

By strategically using the indium element to replace some of the lead in the perovskite, rice materials scientist June Lou and his colleagues at the Brown Engineering School say they are more capable of designing cesium defects – Lead-iodide solar cells, which affect the bandwidth of the compound, which is a critical property of the efficiency of solar cells.

As a side benefit, newly formed cells of the laboratory can be made outdoors and last months, not days, with a solar conversion efficiency of just over 12%.

Rice's team results appear in Advanced Materials.

Perovskites are crystals with cubic lattices that are known to be effective lightweight combines, but the materials tend to be stressed by light, i.e. Humidity and heat.

Not rice perovskites, Lou said.

"From our point of view, it's something new and I think it's an important breakthrough," he said. "This is different from the traditional, basic perovskites that people have been talking about for 10 years – inorganic-organic hybrids that give you the highest efficiency ever, about 25%. But the problem with this type of material is its instability.

"Engineers are designing limiting layers and things to protect these valuable, sensitive materials from the environment," Lou said. "But it is difficult to distinguish between the unstable materials themselves. That is why we decided to do something different. "

  Electron microscopic section of all inorganic perovskite solar cells

An electron microscope image shows a cross-section of a fully inorganic perovskite solar cell developed at Rice University. The layers above are carbon electrode, perovskite, titanium oxide, fluorine-doped tin oxide and glass. The scale is equal to 500 nanometers. Credit: Lou Group / Rice University

Rice PhD researcher and lead author Jia Liang and his team built and tested perovskite solar cells from inorganic cesium, lead and iodide, the very cells that tend to fail quickly because of defects. But by adding bromine and indium, the researchers were able to eliminate defects in the material, increasing efficiency above 12% and voltage to 1.20 volts.

As a bonus, the material proved to be extremely stable. The cells were prepared under atmospheric conditions, withstanding the high humidity of Houston, and the encapsulated cells remained stable in the air for more than two months, much better than the few days that ordinary cesium-lead-iodide cells lasted.

  Image Schematic All-Inorganic Perovskite Solar Cell

A schematic view shows a fully inorganic perovskite solar cell, developed by material scientists at Rice University. Credit: Lou Group / Rice University

"The highest efficiency of this material can be around 20% and if we can get there, it can be a commercial product," said Liang. "It has advantages over silicon-based solar cells because synthesis is very cheap, solution-based and easy to scale. Basically, you just spread it on a substrate, allow it to dry, and have your solar cell. "


The article was co-authored by Xiao Han of Northwestern Polytechnic University, China; J-Hu Yang of Fudan University, Shanghai; and PhD students from Rice Bo Jiang, Kii Fang, Meredith Ogle, PhD Jin Zhang, academic visitor Qing Ai, research specialist Tangui Thurlier and Angel Marty, associate professor of chemistry, bioengineering and materials science and nanotechnology. Lou is a professor of materials science and nanoengineering and chemistry.

Doctoral studies by Peter M. and Ruth L. Nicholas in nanotechnology, the Welch Foundation, the China Scholarship Council, and the National Science Foundation support research. [19659024] (function (d, s, id) {
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