Scientists provide a systematical overview of applicable printing technologies that can be possibly used for scaling-up perovskite solar cells.
The role of photovoltaic technologies in sustainable power generation is significant and this technology is considered as one of the most prominent sources of renewable energy. The vast majority of today’s photovoltaic modules are made from silicon and they offer good efficiency at reasonable cost. But the efficiency we can get from silicon solar cells is limited due to the material properties. Moreover, the price of silicon solar cells have decreased much in past decades, and reducing the manufacturing cost further is a challenge. Hence there is a need for new materials and techniques to manufacture solar cells.
Perovskite solar cells have gained much attention due to their excellent photoelectric conversion efficiency and great commercial potential. These solar cells include perovskite-structured compounds such as methylammonium lead halides and all-inorganic caesium lead halides, which are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture.
Metal halide perovskite materials can be easily synthesized in solution at low-temperature and deposited into thin-film through a variety of printing methods. Recently, many reviews have been published regarding perovskite film deposition techniques/mechanisms, such as solvent engineering and additives-engineering, ink engineering for printing high-quality perovskite films as well as other function layers.
The authors from the Wuhan University of Technology have provided an overview of applicable printing technologies that can be possibly used for scaling-up PSCs. The authors consider the ink engineering is the key issue to achieve high quality thin films for efficient solar cells. Therefore, they mainly outlined their perspective on perovskite precursor ink formula and additives on controlling the film formation process. They analyzed the potential physical and chemical mechanisms of the nucleation and crystallization process during the printing. Moreover, the authors discuss the effect of additives for the film formation process, the microstructure and defect population.
They also discussed the technical feasibility of printing other layers like hole transporting layers (HTL) and electron transporting layers (ETL), which might enable a rapid and mass production of PSCs. Finally, they discussed the recent advancements in roll-to-roll printing and the stability issues of perovskite photovoltaic modules.
The article is published in the National Science Review.