Perovskite solar cells, despite having a high conversion efficiency, are hindered on the path of commercialization due to their low durability, which prevents actual applications from happening. However, a new thin film developed by scientists can retain 99% of the initial efficiency for perovskite solar cells after 1,000 hours of operation.
Solar cells remain as the leading products within the industry in terms of cost efficiency and lifespan, though perovskite solar cells had caught up swiftly in the past 15 years regarding conversion efficiency, and they are also cheaper, lighter, and more flexible. Unfortunately, perovskite cells are prone to decomposition under the exposure of various elements, which is not ideal for equipment that are required to operate 24/7 for several decades.
Canadian material supplier XlynX protects perovskite cells with its BondLynx thin film. Generally speaking, organic ingredients of perovskite materials would be stimulated and overflown when they come into contact with light and heat, which is the origin of issues for perovskite solar cells. However, BondLynx is a type of crosslinker that can form a chemical covalent bond with these organic ingredients, as well as prevent loosening and a reduction of efficiency.
The team applied BondLynx on perovskite solar cells (24% of conversion efficiency) that are placed under heat and light to simulate an exposure to sunlight for 1,000 hours. The batteries were able to retain 99% of efficiency as a result. In comparison, solar cells without any processing had lost 35% of their initial efficiency when they underwent identical conditions and periods.
The team also exposed the solar cells under a constant temperature of 60 °C for 600 hours, where perovskite coated with BondLynx was able to retain nearly 98% of efficiency afterwards, and the control group had lost 27% in comparison.
There was no loss of efficiency from the processed batteries, which indicates that they should be able to operate for a longer period. With additional application of other new coatings that can prolong the lifespan of perovskite solar cells to 30 years, new competitors are likely to overcome their respective weakness now.
(Cover photo source: XlynX)