A new perovskite material for solar applications

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Researchers from the University at Buffalo, in New York state, have developed a thin-film made of chalcogenide perovskite barium zirconium sulfide (BaZrS3), which they claim demonstrates very strong light absorption and good charge transport.

The non-toxic, abundant perovskite material, which the scientists define as an emerging class of unconventional semiconductor, could be applied to solar cell development and the manufacture of LEDs.

The n-type thin-film was developed using sulfurization of oxide films deposited by pulsed laser deposition. With the laser, the researchers heated up and vaporized barium zirconium oxide and the vapor was deposited on a sapphire surface. The resulting film was converted into the final material through the sulfurization chemical reaction.

More stable

“Now that we have a thin film made from BaZrS3, we can study its fundamental properties and [examine] how it might be used in solar panels, LEDs, optical sensors and other applications,” said research co-author Haolei Hui. “Chalcogenide perovskites share some similarities to the widely researched halide perovskites but do not suffer from the toxicity and instability of the latter materials,” he added.

The researchers added, many fundamental properties of chalcogenide perovskites remain unknown, hindering their application to optoelectronics.

The scientists presented their findings in the Realization of BaZrS3 chalcogenide perovskite thin films for optoelectronics, published in Nano Energy and on the ScienceDirect website.

Last month, researchers from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania announced the results of a study to map the lattice thermal energy transport mechanism of another chalcogenide perovskite for solar and thermoelectric applications – CaZrSe3.

Metal chalcogenide perovskites, with their non-toxic elemental composition, are known to offer greater thermal and aqueous stability than organic-inorganic halide perovskites.