Perovskite-Info weekly newsletter

Published: Tue, 04/25/23

Weekly perovskite industry and market news
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The Perovskite-Info newsletter (April 25, 2023)

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New collaborative research center to be funded and established in order to push tandem solar modules forward

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has announced that a team of researchers, led by MIT and including the University of California San Diego, has been selected to receive a $11.25 Million cost-shared award to establish a new research center that will advance the development of next-generation solar cells for commercial use.

A collaborative effort with CubicPV, solar startup Verde Technologies, and Princeton University, the center will bring together teams of researchers to support the creation of perovskite-silicon tandem solar modules. These are solar cells made of stacked materials—silicon paired with perovskites—that together absorb more of the solar spectrum than single materials, resulting in a dramatic increase in efficiency. Their potential to generate significantly more power than conventional solar cells could make a meaningful difference in the race to combat climate change and the transition to a clean-energy future.

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US DoE invests USD$82 million to enhance solar supply chain, including $18 million dedicated to MIT/CU Boulder perovskite solar cell projects

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced USD$52 million (EUR 47.5 million) in funding for 19 research, development and demonstration projects that seek to strengthen domestic solar manufacturing, support the recycling of solar panels and develop new solar technologies.

This funding will back several projects, among which two projects, led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Colorado Boulder, will receive a total of USD$18 million through the PV Research and Development funding programme to advance perovskite solar cell devices.

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Researchers design translucent tandem perovskite-perovskite solar cells for building integration

Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a new way to fabricate micro-patterned translucent perovskite solar cells that could be used in tandem solar modules intended for applications in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). “While translucent perovskite multi-junction devices have been envisaged and recognized as a promising path towards high- efficiency neutral-color transparent PV, the tolerance of complex perovskite tandem stacks against extensive laser scribing has yet to be explored,” the research group said.

The researchers noted that the cells have thus far provided decent levels of power conversion efficiency while maintaining a high average visible transmittance (AVT). They used a custom-built laser scribing setup to fabricate a perovskite solar cell with n–i–p architecture and with an active area of 0.105 cm2. The device is based on an indium tin oxide (ITO) substrate, a hole transport layer made of carbazole (2PACz), an electron transport layer made of buckminsterfullerene (C60), an absorber based on methylammonium lead triiodide (CH3NH3PbI3), a bathocuproine (BCP) buffer layer, and a gold (Au) metal contact.

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Researchers use machine learning to predict optical behavior of halide perovskites with >90% accuracy

Researchers at the University of California, Davis College of Engineering and Georgia Institute of Technology are using machine learning to identify new materials for high-efficiency solar cells. Using high-throughput experiments and machine learning-based algorithms, they have found it is possible to forecast the materials’ dynamic behavior with very high accuracy, without the need to perform as many experiments.

A primary challenge in the field of perovskite-based solar cells is that the perovskite devices tend to degrade faster than silicon when exposed to moisture, oxygen, light, heat, and voltage. The challenge is to find which perovskites combine high-efficiency performance with resilience to environmental conditions. Marina Leite, associate professor of materials science and engineering at UC Davis and senior author of the paper, said that “the number of possible chemical combinations alone is enormous". Furthermore, they need to be assessed against multiple environmental conditions, alone and in combination, which results in a hyperparameter space that cannot be explored using conventional trial-and-error methods. “The chemical parameter space is enormous,” Leite said. “To test them all would be very time consuming and tedious.”

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