Sustainable Thermosetting Polyurethane Resins as interlayers and primary Encapsulants in emerging photovoltaics
Matteo Bonomo a, Gabriele Viada a, Davide Gallo a, Ana Yancy Segura Zarate a, Simone Galliano a, Giulio Kock b, Luca Bonandini d, Nadia Barbero a e, Alberto Menozzi d, Pauline Chotard f, Franck Barath f, Francesca De Rossi b, Fabio Matteocci b, Frederic Sauvage d, Aldo Di Carlo b, Francesca Brunetti b, Claudia Barolo a e
a Univ Torino, NIS Interdept, Dept Chem, I-10125 Turin, Italy, Univ Torino, INSTM Reference Ctr, I-10125 Turin, Italy
b CHOSE, Centre for Hybrid Organic Solar Energy, Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome, Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, 000133, Roma, Italy
c Demak Polymers S.r.l., Corso Lombardia 44, 10099, Torino, Italy
d Laboratoire de Réactivité et Chimie des Solides, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, CNRS-UMR7314, F-80039 Cedex 1 Amiens, France
e Istituto di Scienza, Tecnologia e Sostenibilità per lo sviluppo dei Materiali Ceramici (ISSMC-CNR), Via Granarolo 64, 48018, Faenza, RA, Italy
f G-LYTE SAS, 15, rue de Baudeloque 80 000 – Amiens
Invited Speaker Session, Claudia Barolo, presentation 094
Publication date: 6th February 2024

Nowadays, polyurethane-based materials are massively exploited in a plethora of applications, from adhesives to foams, from building insulations to athletic tracks. Recently, the specifical use of aliphatic thermosetting polyurethanes (aPUs) has enormously increased in the industrial context for their versatile synthesis and tunable physicochemical properties. In the context of photovoltaics, and more specifically, the emerging field of Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs), we proposed the use of thermosetting polyurethanes as low-cost but effective encapsulants on rigid devices. [1]

The advantage of thermosetting PUs over other polymeric encapsulants lies in their tunable flexibility. Indeed, a properly designed combination of precursors leads to a PU that could be coupled with PET in flexible PSCs, allowing PU-protected devices to outperform the non-encapsulated cells in both conventional and high-humidity (RH > 70%) environments. Another possibility with thermosetting PU is their application as both encapsulant and interlayer in tandem devices; more in detail, we exploited a specifically designed formulation (i.e., having a refractive index comparable to the one of glass and a transmittance higher than 90%) to glue together a NIR-Dye Sensitized Solar Cell and a UV-absorbing PSC. The final tandem device reached a total efficiency close to 10% with an Average Visible Transmittance (AVT) as high as 35%, leading to a Light Utilization Efficiency close to 3.5%. All the proposed formulations have been engineered to improve their sustainability by replacing fossil fuel precursors with bio-based or waste-derived ones [2], thus leading to high-performing but sustainable encapsulants and interlayers for emerging photovoltaics.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 826013. This research acknowledges support from the Project CH4.0 under the MUR program “Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2023-2027” (CUP D13C22003520001). S.G. ackowledges support from project NODES which has received fundings from the MUR-M4C2 1.5 of PNRR funded by the European Union - NextGenerationEU (Grant agreement no. ECS00000036).

This study is a result of the research project “nuovi Concetti, mAteriali e tecnologie per l’iNtegrazione del fotoVoltAico negli edifici in uno scenario di generazione diffuSa” (CANVAS), funded by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Energy Security, through the Research Fund for the Italian Electrical System (type-A call, published on G.U.R.I. n. 192 on 18-08-2022).

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