Andre D. Taylor, an associate professor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering for the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, led highly specialized research in perovskite technology earlier this year. With influences from experts at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, as well as John Hopkins and Yale University, their findings were reported on June 28, 2018 in an issue of Nanoscale for the Royal Society of Chemistry, describing this breakthrough in perovskite cell technology.

Implementing perovskite solar cell technology on a mass scale has proved to be a demanding task for researchers in the field, particularly due to fabrication challenges. The primary purpose of their research was to remedy this problem. These cells differ from standard solar cells in that they absorb almost all wavelengths of light and are non-silicon based. Perovskite solar cells are said to have an over 20% efficiency rate, converting light into at an accelerated pace, yet at a low-cost. While Perovskite solar cells are used on a small-scale, it has not been until now that scientists have found a way to improve what is known as the power conversion efficiency or PCE, in order to introduce this technology to society on a broader scale. These changes will allow for a more cost-efficient solar energy in comparison to traditional solar panels.

This new method of applying perovskite solar cells consists of several different processes. Changes to the negatively charged ETL, or electron transport layer, are paired with a positively charged HTL, or hole transport layer. Then, the perovskite layer is “sandwiched” in-between the two layers in order to harness and utilize light. The perovskite layer than acts as a mediator for the electron flow between the negatively charged ETL and the positive HTL. It was within this structure that the problem presented itself to researchers. In order to properly format the perovskite layer, the ETL must be placed over the surface of the perovskite without damaging its structure.

In order to do this efficiently, and in a way that would allow for perovskite solar cells to be replicated commercially, researchers were able to streamline the process through a technique known as spray coating. The traditional method consisted of spin casting, but the results proved to be inconsistent and inflexible in their use. Head researcher Andre D. Taylor stated that their spray coating technique for perovskite solar cells, “is concise, highly reproducible, and scalable.” He believes the ground-breaking work they are doing to implement perovskite solar cell technology in the most efficient and cost-effective way will change the solar power industry indefinitely.

 

Sources: http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Researchers_solve_major_challenge_in_mass_production_of_low_cost_solar_cells_999.html

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-perovskite-solar-cells-efficient.html

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