(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – In the last decade, photovoltaic solar cells in perovskite have made giant strides. It has gone from efficiency of just 3.8% to one of over 25%. However, producing thin films with this class of materials is still a challenge.
The main problem? Create a perovskite ink suitable for upscaling the manufacturing process, which allows obtaining photoactive layers with extreme purity, good crystallinity and complete coverage on the deposition area.
“Although perovskite ink is not a new technology, current blends do not guarantee seamless transitions on an industrial scale,” explains Dr Ehsan Rezaee, a researcher at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey, UK. Rezaee and a group of colleagues found a possible solution. The team has developed new precursor inks based on Acetonitrile/N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and dimethylformamide that can be used in deposition processes at low temperatures and without creating a vacuum. “Our perovskite ink provides a fast and reproducible way to reliably and large-scale fabricate the building blocks of solar cells; paving the way for commercial use,” the scientist points out.
These solutions can be further customized according to the requirements of the deposition method, but scientists suggest using “slot-die coating“. It is a coating technique well known to the industrial world and used for the first time in the 50s to produce photographic papers.
In the paper published in Scientific Reports, scientists suggest a path to low-cost, high-volume production of perovskite structure films on both rigid and flexible substrates. The presented approach is suitable for manufacturing any functional perovskite layer, according to industrial standards. “The University of Surrey – added Ravi Silva, Director of ATI – has always believed in the potential of solar panels as a critical research area that, over time, will allow us to move away from the old and dangerous sources of energy”.