The new technology has power conversion efficiencies of around 12% when they are illuminated from fluorine-doped tin oxide bottom electrodes or the graphene top electrodes, compared with 7% of conventional semitransparent solar cells.
Developing transparent or semitransparent solar cells with high efficiency and low cost to replace the existing opaque and expensive silicon-based solar panels has become increasingly important due to the increasing demands of the building integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) systems. The Department of Applied Physics of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has successfully developed efficient and low-cost semitransparent perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes.
The power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of this novel invention are around 12% when they are illuminated from Fluorine-doped Tin Oxide bottom electrodes (FTO) or the graphene top electrodes, compared with 7% of conventional semitransparent solar cells. Its potential low cost of less than HK$0.5/Watt, more than 50% reduction compared with the existing cost of Silicon solar cells, will enable it to be widely used in the future.
Solar energy is an important source of renewable energy, in which solar cell will be used to convert light energy directly into electricity by photovoltaic effect. The first generation crystalline silicon solar panel is highly stable with efficient energy conversion, but opaque and expensive. The second generation solar cell, namely thin film solar cell, is light in weight and can be made flexible.
However, they are made of rare materials with complicated structure and need high temperature treatments. With the research objectives of producing solar panels of high PCEs, easy fabrication, and low cost, in recent years, scientists have been investigating third generation solar cells. Perovskite solar cell as a novel third generation solar cell has attracted much attention recently due to its high power conversion efficiency, convenient fabrication process and potentially low cost.
With the aim of improving PCEs and reducing costs of semitransparent solar panels, PolyU researcher has developed the first-ever made semitransparent perovskite solar cells with graphene as electrode. Graphene is an ideal candidate for transparent electrodes in solar cells with high transparency, good conductivity and potentially low cost. The semitransparent feature of the solar cell enables it to absorb light from both sides, and can be widely used in windows, facades, louvers and rooftops of buildings for converting solar energy into electricity, thus increasing the surface area for collecting solar energy substantially.
While graphene as an advanced material was invented more than 10 years ago, PolyU innovated simple processing techniques for enhancing the conductivity of graphene to meet the requirement of its applications in solar cells. Firstly, the conductivity of graphene was dramatically improved by coating a thin layer of conductive polymer poly-(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), that was also used as an adhesion layer to the perovskite active layer during the lamination process.
Secondly, to further improve the efficiency of power conversion, PolyU researcher found that by fabricating the solar cell with multilayer chemical vapor deposition graphene as top transparent electrodes, the sheet resistance of the electrode could be further reduced while maintaining the high transparency of the electrodes. Lastly, the performance of this novel invention is further optimized by improving the contact between the top graphene electrodes and the hole transport layer (spiro-OMeTAD) on the perovskite films.
Because of the excellent mechanical flexibility of graphene and the convenient preparation of the devices, PolyU's invention can be used for the mass production of the semitransparent perovskite solar cells with printing or roll to roll process. The semitransparent solar cells will fill the gap in the market which is not achievable by the existing solar cells dominating the market.
Study findings have been published in Advanced Materials, a leading journal in material science.
Dr. YAN Feng
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Physics
Phone: (852) 2766 4054
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Original press release from HK PolyU
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | ResearchSea
Nano-scale process may speed arrival of cheaper hi-tech products
09.11.2018 | University of Edinburgh
Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of 'burning plasmas'
25.10.2018 | Lehigh University
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences