Perovskite solar cells: exploring “plug, paste and use” industrialization
Perovskite solar cells: exploring “plug, paste and use” industrialization
Solar energy is inexhaustible. Large-scale use of clean and renewable solar energy is of significant importance to optimiz energy consumption structure, reduc environmental pollution and reliev global greenhouse effect. Therefore, developing a cheaper and more efficient photovoltaic technology is an of solar energy utilization, which concerns extentsolar energy replace fossil fuels in the future.
The research group of Professor Baomin Xu from epartment of aterials cience and ngineering has made outstanding achievements in this field. The was actively involved in researching key technology for large-scale preparation of flexible perovskite solar cells. They have established a sound research platform for development of new materials and advanced device preparation process essential to application and research of perovskite thin film solar cells, and achieved a series of preliminary results.
ew Generation of Solar Cell, Leading in New Direction of Green and Renewable Energy
As the most important part of PV technology, the solar cell can convert the solar energy into electric energy directly. Exploring new highly efficient and low-cost solar cell materials and technologies is the and focus in the solar cell field. The perovskite solar cell becomes one of important directions, and stabilities of key materials, high performance devices, low-cost large-scale preparation technologies and flexible applications are in the research on perovskite solar cell.
Since Professor Miyasaka in Japan used perovskite for the solar cell for the first time in 2009, Snaith research group from Britain and ark research group from South Korea have used FAPbI3 (Formamidinium Lead Iodide) for planar and mesoporous structures successively, achieving cell efficiencies of 14.2% and 16.01% respectively. Compared with MAPbI3 (Methylammonium Lead Iodide), FAPbI3 showed a better high temperature resistance capability, enjoying more advantages in the future practical applications. Additionally, Parks group firstly reported that moisture resistance and illuminating capability of the cell could be improved significantly by replacing the ammonia carbamate cations of 10% with caesium. Subsequently, Swiss scientists Grätzel at el reported mixed, MA, FA and caesium perovskite cells, with the latest cell efficiency reaching up to 22.1% and certified. By replacing FA with caesium partially, Snaith et al developed a bromine-based perovskite cell which can withstand illumination and high temperature for a longer time and its bandgap is more suitable for manufacturing the highly efficient perovskite/silicon-based laminated cell.
In terms of research on the flexible perovskite cell, the research group of University of California has prepared an Ag grid/PEDOT:PSS PH1000 (a conducting polymer) composite electrode by applying NIL to the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate, based on a flexible perovskite cell with an IPCE of 14% was achieved, and the device is found very flexible. However, the device still has a stability problem since both the flexible electrode and the HTL include PEDOT:PSS. Domestic scientific researchers have also made significant achievements in various aspects of the perovskite solar cell. By adopting a unique interface modification method, North China Electric Power University has achieved a certified cell efficiency of up to 19.16% and has also conducted calculations and performance predictions to the structures of multiple perovskite materials, mastering the association mechanisms between band structures of these materials and their stabilities. Shaanxi Normal University has developed a low-temperature deposit process for the excellent TiO2 electron transport layer, achieving a flexible cell efficiency of 16.09%.
Sunlight means Energy - Power Shortages To Become History
Taking industrializ the new flexible solar cell as main objective, realizing the large-scale low-cost full-print preparation of flexible perovskite solar cells as short-term goal of the program and developing the “plug & paste-and-play” flexible high-performance perovskite solar cell generating thin film as mid-term goal, Baomin Xu team has overturned the traditional ideas on the applications of PV cells by . The product will be used as mobile power suppl for mobile devices, wearable electronics, field equipment, family cars and other commercial traffic tools. Additionally, it will also be used for household PV generation and BMPV generation. The market scale in China alone is estimated to be over 1000 billion Yuan, the global market. Therefore, its successful implementation perhaps trigger a global energy revolution.
An Initial Achievement in Industrialization of Perovskite Solar Cell
In the field of solar PV cell, Professor Xu led the technology research and development of preparing silver electrode gridlines of C-Si solar cell by “Co-extrusion” printing in PARC Research Center. This technology has the potential to replace currently general silk-screen printing. Without any additional equipment cost and process steps, it can increase the photoelectric conversion efficiency by 20% by altering the ratio of height to width of the silver electrode gridline. The technology has been transferred to a European major C-Si solar cell manufacturer and realized commercialized production.
with Solar World Industries America, the largest solar cell manufacturer in U.S., Professor Xu also developed a metalizing technology of contactless printing and real-time adjustment of line width, and solved the difficulties in precise positioning of metal gridlines under high production and high throughput. This technology has been applied to the production of high efficiency PERC-MWT cell.
Moreover, Professor Xu directed the research of low concentration technology in PARC Center. This technology developed low-cost special optical thin-film substitute for the C-Si wafer. Thus, while the generating efficiency of solar components is kept unchanged, dosage of the C-Si wafer was quartered, the component cost more than 30%. This technology has been transferred to an Asian major C-Si solar cell manufacturer.
Based on previous research, Professor Xu’s laboratory has developed a series of new hole transport material, achieving spin-coating preparation of undoped hole transport layer and applying it to the perovskite solar cell, as well as photoelectric conversion efficiency of device up to 17.3%.
The laboratory adopted pioneering heat-assisted spin coating process to achieve rapid perovskite layer crystallization of the time compared traditional process. It is beneficial to the production of high-throughput thin-film solar cell in the print preparation. If this process is used, the device efficiency will exceed 19% and be more than 15% even after 2 months, demonstrating the favorable environmental stability. The efficiency of large area and flexible devices is more than 15% (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Device performance fabricated by the new HASP (Heat-assisted Spin Coating) process
The laboratory modified the perovskite light absorption layer by using small molecules t-BP (4-tert-Butyl pyridine) to enhance its anti-water and –oxygen abilities. As a result, high-performance battery components can be prepared in a highly humid environment. The battery efficiency can still reach approximate 10% humidity of 70%. J. Phys. Chem. C, 121(2017), 6546−6553 (Fig. 2)
Fig. 2 Schematic diagram of preparing perovskite layer
The laboratory has developed a new type of inorganic quantum dots, prepared the inorganic quantum dot modified perovskite solar cell, and found that its performance and stability have been improved significantly (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3 Interface-modified perovskite solar cell device introduced by quantum dot
Potential Extensive Home Use of Perovskite Solar Cell
The objective of Xu’s team is to realize the roll-to-roll all-printing preparation of flexible perovskite solar cell at low cost, and later based on this, develop inexpensive, high-performance “Plug, Paste, and Play” flexible perovskite solar cell generating thin film series. hotoelectric conversion efficiency of the cell is between 10% and 15%, with service life of 3-10 years according to applications. These flexible perovskite solar cell generating thin films would be widely applied to cell phone, laptop and field equipment as mobile supplementary power suppl, to automobile as mobile generating power supply replacing current solar film, and to the building as BMPV substituting for glass film.
These applications have a huge market. Taking the automotive solar film as example, there are more than 200 million motor vehicles in China, approximate 107 million of which private car and will increase to about 150 million by 2020. Assum that the solar film with an area of 3 square meters is required for each carhe automotive solar film has a market scale up to 90 billion yuan. Similarly, the building area in China was 50 billion square meters in 2014 and would be near 90 billion square meters by 2020. Window area generally 20% of the building area. If 20% of the window area has the solar film for electricity generation, its market scale is 20 billion yuan. Taking into account the building surface without glass but available for the solar energy photovoltaic power, the whole market scale may be more than 1,000 billion yuan. Based on 2,000 hours of annual average sunshine, the solar thin film on the building glass can generate 720 billion kWh of electricity (if the efficiency of solar cell thin-film is taken as 10%), saving annual electric of about 430 billion yuan, 300 million tons, 720 million tons. Consequently, carbon emission in China may be reduced by approximate 8%.