Metal halide perovskites have gained significant attention in the photovoltaic industry due to their promising optoelectronic properties. Recent breakthroughs have demonstrated power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) above 25.8%, making them competitive with existing solar technologies. However, the fabrication processes for these perovskite-based solar cells (PSCs) are far from ideal, as they require an inert atmosphere, such as within a nitrogen glovebox, to achieve high-performance devices. Developing a low-cost fabrication method under ambient conditions is essential for the large-scale production and deployment of metal halide PSCs.
The inability to fabricate metal halide PSCs with high efficiencies in ambient air poses a significant hurdle to their industrialization. Moisture-induced degradation of the perovskite layer has been a major issue limiting device efficiency. Water molecules near vacancy defects trigger the hydration of the perovskite, leading to material degradation. Overcoming this challenge requires a strategy that blocks the perovskite hydration without compromising the quality of the film.
Researchers at North China Electric Power University proposed a novel fabrication strategy to create metal halide PSCs with PCEs above 25% in ambient air. They utilized the acetate salt form of guanabenz, known as GBA, to block the pathway for perovskite hydration. This compound eliminated both cation and anion vacancies, allowing the crystallization of a high-quality film in ambient air. The researchers successfully prepared PSCs with a certified efficiency of 25.08% using guanabenz acetate salt as a hydration-blocking agent.
Initial tests of this innovative fabrication strategy yielded remarkable results, demonstrating the successful creation of stable metal halide PSCs with commercially viable PCEs above 25%. These solar cells also showcased excellent performance retention over time, even in humid environments. Unencapsulated devices maintained around 96% of their initial efficiency after aging for 2,000 hours in ambient air and operating for 500 hours under simulated solar light. The encapsulated devices retained 85% of their initial efficiency after exposure to damp heat conditions.
The recent advancements by the team of researchers at North China Electric Power University pave the way for the future commercialization of metal halide PSCs. Their strategy to fabricate these high-efficiency solar cells in ambient air conditions opens up a new avenue for low-cost manufacturing. By blocking the perovskite hydration using guanabenz acetate salt, the researchers achieved significant improvements in the fabrication process. This breakthrough has the potential to revolutionize the industry and accelerate the deployment of metal halide perovskite solar cells on a large scale.
Moving forward, the fabrication strategy developed by the research team can be further refined and enhanced to improve the performance of metal halide PSCs. Collaborative efforts from researchers, industry experts, and policymakers are crucial to advance this technology and streamline the production process. With continual innovation and optimization, metal halide perovskite solar cells have the potential to emerge as a leading renewable energy solution, bridging the gap towards a sustainable future.
Metal halide perovskite solar cells hold tremendous promise for the photovoltaic industry. Recent breakthroughs in fabricating these solar cells under ambient conditions bring us one step closer to their widespread deployment. With the use of guanabenz acetate salt to block perovskite hydration, researchers have achieved remarkable efficiencies in metal halide PSCs. As this technology continues to evolve, it has the potential to revolutionize the solar industry and provide a cost-effective and sustainable energy solution for the future.