Environmental Impacts of semi-Transparent Evaporation of Electrodes for Colourful Perovskite Solar Cells Obtained with Life Cycle Assessment
Jaume-Adrià Alberola-Borràs a b, Sofia Masi a, Rosario Vidal b, Iván Mora-Seró a
a Institute of Advanced Materials (INAM), Universitat Jaume I, Av. De Vicent Sos Baynat, s/n 12071 Castellò, Spain
b Departament d'Enginyeria Mecànica i Construcció, Universitat Jaume I, Av. de Vicent Sos Baynat, s/n 12071 Castelló, Spain
Poster, Jaume-Adrià Alberola-Borràs, 211
Publication date: 6th February 2024

Besides having reached conversion efficiencies comparable to those of the most deployed photovoltaic technologies, perovskite presents the advantage of the tunability of its colour. Thanks to that property resulting photovoltaic panels can have different colouring to adapt the aesthetical needs of the site of installation.

Within the photovoltaic device, perovskite is stacked in the middle of several layers. Among these layers, the electrode is made of materials with good conducting properties. At laboratory scale, the most used materials are gold, silver and aluminium. However, the opacity of this materials impedes that the colour of the perovskite can be appreciated. Therefore, an electrode made of materials with high transparency is developed. This electrode encompasses a layer of silver sandwiched with two layers of WO₃.

Metallic electrodes are deposited onto the perovskite solar cell by vacuum evaporation. Their environmental impacts are already evaluated in various life cycle analyses of perovskite solar cells. In these works, gold electrodes are identified as a significant source of environmental impact.

In the present work, we focus on the vacuum evaporation of the semi-transparent electrodes to obtain its environmental impacts. Then, the impacts obtained are assessed and compared with these of a gold electrode.

The study is performed using the Life Cycle Assessment methodology, in accordance with the ISO standards (14040/14044). The life cycle inventories include raw materials, vacuum deposition and waste treatment. Two scenarios are considered for the treatment of waste, landfilling or recycling.

Results reveal that the semi-transparent electrode has lower environmental impacts than gold electrode. This is attributed to the material losses during the vacuum evaporation, representing a 99%. Recycling the waste generated during the vacuum evaporation provides benefits to the environment in comparison to landfilling.

The authors acknowledge financial support from Generalitat Valenciana (Spain) under Project PRINT-P MFA/2022/020, and the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain under Projects StepUp TED2021-131600B-C31 and She-LED PID2021-122960OA-I00.

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