Since the first report of perovskite photovoltaic (PV) cells in 2009, tremendous research efforts on absorber chemistry have boosted the power conversion efficiency of this material class from 3.9% to 25.7%. Although impressive, this attribute alone cannot guarantee the commercial success of perovskite PV cells, as any emerging technology must also meet the 20-25 years stability already achieved by other mature PV classes. To date, the durability of best performing perovskite PV cells is limited to few months at best, constituting an important roadblock in their commercial deployment.
The HNEI research team led by Dr. Nicolas Gaillard was recently awarded a $300,000 seed funding by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Technology Office to precisely tackle perovskite PV cells durability and enhance their lifetime towards reaching DOE’s 2030 cost target of $0.02/kWh. Specifically, this new program aims at encapsulating perovskite PV cells with transparent conductive composites to isolate them from the external environment. Most sealants used today must be applied at high temperatures, which can break down the perovskite material. This new material proposed by Dr. Gaillard’s team can be applied at room temperature. The new material could also replace the glass sheets used as a encapsulation layer in commercial modules, decreasing their cost.