Scientist design titanium dioxide sponge to prevent lead leak in perovskite solar cells

Jun 8, 2023 12:38 PM ET
  • Scientists from CNR-IMM, CNR-IPCB, CNR-NANOTEC, Università Degli Studi di Messina and also the University of Basel have revealed that lead leak can be prevented by using a transparent titanium dioxide (TiO2) sponge in a semitransparent solar cell. The gadget has demonstrated similar effectiveness to semi-transparent perovskite tools as well as has an average visible transmittance (AVT) of 31.4%.

The group made the solar cell for applications such as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and also agrivoltaics, in which the potential lead leakage can be seen as a serious public environmental and also wellness threat source.

TiO2, a highly adsorbent product, functions as an efficient electron transport layer (ETL) in perovskite solar cells. To resolve possible lead (Pb) leak, the researchers developed a solvent-free permeable TiO2 film, developing a sponge-like structure with the ability of capturing Pb from damaged cells during simulated disastrous occasions. The researchers described that the TiO2 sponge can withdraw Pb in focus ranging from 24 g cm2 to 63 g cm2, which are equivalently contained in MAPbI3 layers with thicknesses from 200 nm (semi-transparent PSC) to 500 nm (opaque PSC).

They developed the cell with a substrate constructed from glass and indium tin oxide (ITO), a hole transport layer (HTL) made of poly-triarylamine (PTAA), a perovskite absorber with the TIO2 sponge, an electron acceptor made of phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), a bathocuproine (BCP) buffer layer, a gold (Au) metal contact, and the TIO2 sponge.

The scientists transferred the sponge via a physical solvent-free deposition, by utilizing sputtering equipment, a quickly up-scalable deposition technique, which is extensively utilized by semiconductors producing firms. They included that a pre-sputtering step of 1 minutes is performed before the deposition procedure to clean up the surface of the titanium target to eliminate oxidized layers.

The solar cell apparently achieved a power conversion efficiency of 11.6% and also has an average visible transmittance (AVT) of 31.4%. The newly-devised technique represents a step forward in attending to Pb release for BIPV, BAPV, agrivoltaics and also opaque tools, and may likewise lead the way for Pb recycling in end-of-life devices.

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