Boosting solar cell energy capture effectiveness with a fullerene-derivative interlayer

May 19, 2023 10:58 AM ET
  • Solar cells are a critical component to the transition to renewable energy resources, as well as boosted power conversion performance (PCE), or amount of power captured with a given amount of sunlight, boosts the usefulness of solar energy in a society with high energy demands.
Boosting solar cell energy capture effectiveness with a fullerene-derivative interlayer

Perovskite solar cells that make use of all-inorganic perovskite light-absorbing materials are extra thermally steady than organic-inorganic hybrid counterparts, however deal with reduced PCE. Scientists have conquered this hurdle in all-inorganic perovskite solar cells (PSC) by including a conductive fullerene-derivative interlayer to boost PCE as well as thermal stability.

All-inorganic perovskite solar cells have the advantage of raised thermal stability, which is critical for the long life of solar cells, but do not have in PCE compared to solar cells made with organic-inorganic hybrid equivalents. A team of leading product researchers lately explored the use of an interlayer to ameliorate the defects found in all-inorganic PSCs.

In PSCs, layers of perovskite, a material that performs energy when exposed to light, are susceptible to troubles in morphology, energy level mismatches and electron catches that reduce electron transportation and general solar cell performance. Introducing an interlayer of a fullerene derivative called bis-dimethylamino-functionalized fullerene derivative (PCBDMAM), sandwiched between the perovskite and also the electron transportation layer, treatments these shortages, raising electron transportation and also PCE improving temperature level security.

The team released their findings in Nano Research Energy.

"High-efficiency PSC devices are mainly based upon organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite light-absorbing products, which are intrinsically volatile and also thermally unpredictable as a result of the presence of organic cations, causing poor thermal security of PSC gadgets and also interfering with large-scale commercialization of organic-inorganic hybrid PSCs," stated Shangfeng Yang, lead principal investigator of the research and also professor at the CAS Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conversion at the University of Science and also Technology of China in Hefei, China.

"To improve the PCE of [all-inorganic perovskite] PSCs, user interface engineering has been thoroughly used as well as shown to be reliable in advertising electron transport by improving film morphology, lowering the energy level mismatch as well as passivating the antisite catches in perovskite," said Yang.

"By utilizing different kinds of interlayers including small molecules, polymers, inorganic compounds, 2D perovskite layers as well as fullerene and its by-products, issue passivations of all-inorganic PSCs have actually been accomplished," claimed Yang.

Specifically, the team made use of PCBDMAM as an interlayer between an all-inorganic perovskite layer and also a zinc oxide electron transportation layer. In this application, the PCBDMAM was spin-coated onto the zinc oxide surface as a conductive surface finishing to minimize the film morphology as well as various other issues of the all-inorganic perovskite layer, boosting the total thermal securities of both the zinc oxide and perovskite layers and also boosting PCE from 15.44% to 17.04%.

The successful transition to renewable energy sources depends, partially, on durable solar cells that can efficiently convert solar energy to electrical energy as well as withstand ecological extremes. Direct recombination, in particular, is a restricting factor in the efficiency of solar cells and offers a considerable obstacle for the research group and other material researchers.

Straight recombination is the procedure whereby electrons, developed by light in the solar cell, and also openings encounter one another as well as recombine. This recombination gives off a photon, reversing power production in the solar cell.

The research study team will continue to overcome hurdles to boost the capability as well as lifespan of solar cells to make solar energy production much more trusted and more economical. Future challenges include better minimizing solar cell issues, consisting of straight recombination, by changing the make-up, focus as well as application of solar cell layers to enhance temperature security and effectiveness in a commercially practical and inexpensive way.

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