Brown University sheds light on potential perovskite cell production method

Described in a research paper published last week in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Materials Chemistry A, researchers at Brown have come up with a technique to deposit sunlight-absorbing perovskite crystals onto a substrate using a room-temperature solvent bath as an alternative to high-heat thermal annealing.

According to the paper, cells based on the so-called “solvent-solvent extraction” (SSE) process reach a sunlight conversion efficiency of up to 15.2% and an average efficiency of over 10% for semi-transparent cells with a thickness of less than 100-nanometers.

“The SSE method has generic appeal, and its key attributes — room-temperature process, rapid crystallization, large-area uniform deposition, film-thickness control, ultra-smoothness, and compositional versatility — make the SSE method potentially suitable for roll-to-roll scalable processing of hybrid-perovskite thin films for future multifunctional [perovskite solar cells],” says the paper.

The research builds on recent years of exciting laboratory progress on solar cells derived from perovskite absorber materials, during which efficiencies have skyrocketed to greater than 20% from less than 5% in only five years.

Commercially, however, the technology still has a long way to go. Earlier this month, start-up company Oxford PV closed an £8 million (US$12.15 million) round of investment in its bid launch commercial products based on perovskite technology.