Researchers from UNSW have discovered a low-cost sulfur-based additive that can boost the stability of perovskite solar cells without compromising efficiency. The 1-DDT (Dodecanethiol) additive has a “multifunction” – something which came as a surprise to the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering team. On top of stabilizing the lithium used in the hole transport layer of perovskite cells to achieve high efficiencies, the additive also induces oxidation and prevents water ingression – both features which add to stability.
“This 1-DDT locks lithium in that layer, and I think thats a major contribution and a major underlying mechanism to make this stable,” Professor Xiaojing Hao told pv magazine Australia.
Perovskite cells fabricated with this novel additive were able to maintain more than 90% of the initial efficiency after operating at maximum power point under one sun illumination for 1,000 hours, and more than 93% of the initial efficiency after staying at open circuit condition under one sun illumination for 2,000 hours. This reported stability result is the best in Australia and among the highest in the world.
The results of the research have now been published in Nature Photonics and have been co-authored by Professor Martin Green, famously known as the “father” of modern solar cells.
While perovskites’ high efficiencies are proven, “everyone still has concerns in terms of long term stability,” said Hao.
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