IIT Guwahati researchers develop cost-effective, highly efficient perovskite solar cells

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) researchers have developed hybrid perovskite-based solar or photovoltaic devices to produce electricity from the sunlight, which are highly efficient, cost effective, easy to manufacture and easily recyclable.

These devices were developed achieving power conversion efficiencies beyond 21% by utilizing economical solution-based photovoltaic device processing techniques at mild room temperature and realizing high ambient, thermal and optical stability.

Among all the renewable energy sources, the energy from sun (solar energy) is considered to be the most sustainable due to its ample availability on the surface of the earth. Currently, inorganic solar cell (Silicon-based) is a major player in the market.

However, this technology requires high-temperature processing that results in the high price of solar panels. Further, the recycling of solar panels is hazardous and complicated.

The perovskite solar cells (PSCs) research has experienced tremendous attention due to their exponential growth in terms of efficiencies achieved within a decade. However, the perovskite materials are extremely unstable towards ambient (humidity and oxygen) conditions that restrict their commercialization.

The research team at IIT Guwahati comprising of research scholars Rabindranath Garai (department of chemistry), Ritesh Kant Gupta (centre for nanotechnology), Arvin Sain Tanwar (department of chemistry), Maimur Hossain (department of chemistry) working under the supervision of Parameswar K Iyer, department of chemistry and centre for nanotechnology and School for Health Science and Technology, IIT Guwahati, have achieved remarkable results in terms of efficiency and stability of the PSCs.

In this recent study of IIT Guwahati, published in the American Chemical Society journal Chemistry of Materials, 2021, 33, 5709-5717, charged conjugated polymers have been incorporated in photovoltaic devices as a passivation molecule to achieve defect-free high-quality perovskite solar cell devices.

The passivated defect-free device reveals a high efficiency of 20.17% with excellent reproducibility. Such polymer-based passivation method effectively improved the long-term device stability by improving the hydrophobicity of the perovskite layer.

In another recent investigation of the IIT Guwahati team, published in The Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2021, 9, 26069-26076, the researchers demonstrated the development of solution-processed multi-dimensional (2D-3D) graded perovskites and the precise role of surface recrystallization to achieve very high efficiencies, stability, economical device scalability by mitigating the perovskite defects.

To achieve these performances, systematic design and development of functional molecules such as organic ammonium halide salt, 4-(aminomethyl) benzoic acid hydrogen bromide was used strategically to fabricate 2D-3D graded perovskite and investigated as device engineering and performance enhancement materials. 2D-3D graded device reveals an outstanding efficiency of 21.18% which are highly reproducible.

About Hemanta Kr Nath

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Hemanta Kumar Nath is a Guwahati-based journalist. He had worked with India Blooms News Service (IBNS), Meghalaya Times, Global News Network among others.

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