Green solvent engineering for enhanced performance and reproducibility in printed carbon-based mesoscopic perovskite solar cells and modules
a SPECIFIC – Swansea University Bay Campus, Fabian Way, Crymlyn Burrows, SA1 8EN Swansea
International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics
Proceedings of International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV22)
València, Spain, 2022 May 19th - 25th
Organizers: Pablo Docampo, Eva Unger and Elizabeth Gibson
Oral, CARYS WORSLEY, presentation 038
Publication date: 20th April 2022

Mesoscopic carbon-based perovskite solar cells (CPSCs) are frequently described as a potential frontrunner for PSC commercialization, being cheap to produce, easily scaled and highly stable. However, many scale-up projects rely on γ-butyrolactone (GBL) based perovskite precursors. A psychoactive subject to legal restrictions in many countries, this introduces legislative costs at large scale and can hamper research where access is prohibited.

This work presents γ-valerolactone (GVL) and GVL-methanol (MeOH) solvent mixes as sustainable, non-toxic, green alternatives to GBL (γ-butyrolactone) in perovskite precursors [1], [2]. While GVL can directly replace GBL, MeOH addition aids in wetting, infiltration, and perovskite crystal quality. Resultant devices exhibit improved performance, reproducibility and stability, achieving a  champion PCE  of  14.96% in  a  1  cm2 device .

Additionally, these precursors are more suited to scale-up, as they are more stable towards unwanted precipitation. This prevents equipment blockages in scaled techniques such as inkjet printing, enabling production of large-scale modules with improved performance and reproducibility as compared to standard GBL solutions. Thus far, >9%  has been achieved in  a  220  cm2 active area module  fabricated  in ambient conditions, with recent work on even larger modules also proving successful. 

As well as establishing GVL-based precursors as commercially attractive, this provides an example of how green solvent engineering can be applied in the development, amelioration and scale-up of novel photovoltaics. It also provides an interesting case study, showcasing the potential for scale-up of novel perovskite technologies.

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