Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High-performance solar cells: physicists from Halle grow stable perovskite layers

06.11.2018

Crystalline perovskite cells are the key to cutting-edge thin-film solar cells. Although they already achieve very high levels of efficiency in the laboratory, commercial applications are hampered by the fact that the material is still too unstable. Furthermore, there is no reliable industrial production process for perovskites. In a new study published in the "Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters", physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) present an approach that could solve this problem. They also describe in detail how perovskites form and decay. The results could help produce high-performance solar cells in the future.

Perovskites are currently receiving a great deal of attention in the solar industry. In 2009, researchers were first able to prove that organic-inorganic compounds with a special perovskite crystal structure are good absorbers that can effectively convert sunlight into electricity. Within just a few years, the efficiency of perovskite solar cells was increased to well over 20 percent in the laboratory.


"Although modern, monocrystalline silicon solar cells achieve slightly better values, they are much harder to manufacture and they have been under development for a much longer time," says Dr Paul Pistor, a physicist at MLU and lead author of the study. Currently, however, there are no market-ready perovskite-based solar cells as there is no established process for the large-scale production of perovskites.

In addition, the thin crystal layers are rather unstable and sensitive to environmental influences. "High temperatures or humidity cause the perovskites to decompose and lose their ability to convert sunlight into electricity," says Pistor. Yet, solar cells have to withstand elevated temperatures because they are permanently exposed to the sun.

In their study, the physicists from Halle investigated a special, inorganic perovskite consisting of caesium, lead and bromine or iodine. Instead of using the usual wet-chemical processes to produce the perovskites, they deployed a process that is already widely used in industry to produce thin layers and a range of components.

In a vacuum chamber, precursor materials are heated up until they evaporate. Then, the perovskite condenses on a colder glass substrate and a thin crystalline layer grows. "The advantage of this method is that every part of the process can be very well controlled. This way, the layers grow very homogenous and the thickness and composition of the crystals can be easily adjusted," explains Pistor.

His team was thus able to produce perovskite layers based on caesium that didn’t decompose until they reached temperatures of 360 degrees Celsius. Using cutting-edge X-ray analysis, the researchers also analysed the growth and decay processes of the crystals in real time.

The results provide important insights into the underlying properties of perovskites and point to a process that may be suitable for the industrial realisation of modern perovskite-based solar cell technology.

Originalpublikation:

Burwig T., Fränzel W., Pistor P., Crystal Phases and Thermal Stability of Co-evaporated CsPbX3 (X = I, Br) Thin Films, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2018), doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b02059

Tom Leonhardt | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-halle.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire

nachricht NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

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...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

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...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

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...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>