|Scientists have proposed a new type of material for transporting electrons in perovskite solar cells.
Photo Credit: Vladimir Petrov
Experts from the Ural Federal University and the Institute of Organic Synthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, together with other Russian scientists, have proposed a new type of material for one of the solar cell cells. The discovered compounds will significantly reduce the cost of solar cell production. An article with the results of the study was published in the New Journal of Chemistry.
Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are a promising alternative to the familiar silicon cells, providing the same amount of energy with 180 times less material thickness. Their production technology is much simpler and cheaper than that of silicon cells. The problem with PSCs is their lack of stability. One of the most effective solutions today, as explained by the experts, is the selection of new materials that ensure the transport of the charge carriers after it is obtained in the perovskite layer itself.
The scientific team of the Ural Federal University and the Institute of Organic Synthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences proposed a new type of material for transporting electrons in the PSCs, which has a number of advantages. According to the authors, with the new material they managed to achieve solar energy conversion efficiency of 12%, which is comparable with the average indicators of market analogues.
"The family of molecules we found carries electrons in PSE slightly worse than fullerenes used today, but is cheaper by about half, is much easier to produce, and has a number of other technological advantages," explained Gennady Rusinov, Associate Professor of the Department of Technology of Organic Synthesis at the Ural Federal University.
Although fullerenes, according to scientists, are the most sought-after electron-transport material for PSCs, they have problems with morphological stability and low light absorption, as well as great difficulty in modifying electronic properties. The costs of synthesis and purification of fullerenes in some cases make their application economically inefficient.
"Our molecules are devoid of the main drawbacks of fullerenes, and their synthesis is very easy, even in large quantities. The optical, electrochemical and electronic properties of our molecules are easily modified. In addition, they are dipoles, which opens up a number of opportunities to improve PSCs," said Gennady Rusinov.
Researchers from the Ural Federal University and the Institute of Organic Synthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have proposed a complete synthesis methodology for new molecules and studied their thermal stability, electronic and optical properties. According to them, the production of new materials in Russia can be completely independent of imports.
The research was supported by grants from the Russian Science Foundation (No. 19-13-00234 and No. 18-13-00409) together with scientists from the Institute of Metallurgy of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the National Research University "MISIS". In the future, the research team intends to continue searching for new materials for solar cells.
Source/Credit: Ural Federal University