Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Meniscus-assisted technique produces high efficiency perovskite PV films

This is an optical micrograph of perovskite crystal grains crafted by meniscus-assisted solution printing.
CREDIT
Image courtesy of Ming He, Georgia Tech
This is an optical micrograph of perovskite crystal grains crafted by meniscus-assisted solution printing. CREDIT Image courtesy of Ming He, Georgia Tech

Abstract:
A new low-temperature solution printing technique allows fabrication of high-efficiency perovskite solar cells with large crystals intended to minimize current-robbing grain boundaries. The meniscus-assisted solution printing (MASP) technique boosts power conversion efficiencies to nearly 20 percent by controlling crystal size and orientation.

Meniscus-assisted technique produces high efficiency perovskite PV films

Atlanta, GA | Posted on July 7th, 2017

The process, which uses parallel plates to create a meniscus of ink containing the metal halide perovskite precursors, could be scaled up to rapidly generate large areas of dense crystalline film on a variety of substrates, including flexible polymers. Operating parameters for the fabrication process were chosen by using a detailed kinetics study of perovskite crystals observed throughout their formation and growth cycle.

"We used a meniscus-assisted solution printing technique at low temperature to craft high quality perovskite films with much improved optoelectronic performance," said Zhiqun Lin, a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "We began by developing a detailed understanding of crystal growth kinetics that allowed us to know how the preparative parameters should be tuned to optimize fabrication of the films."

The new technique is reported July 7 in the journal Nature Communications. The research has been supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Perovskites offer an attractive alternative to traditional materials for capturing electricity from light, but existing fabrication techniques typically produce small crystalline grains whose boundaries can trap the electrons produced when photons strike the materials. Existing production techniques for preparing large-grained perovskite films typically require higher temperatures, which is not favorable for polymer materials used as substrates - which could help lower the fabrication costs and enable flexible perovskite solar cells.

So Lin, Research Scientist Ming He and colleagues decided to try a new approach that relies on capillary action to draw perovskite ink into a meniscus formed between two nearly parallel plates approximately 300 microns apart. The bottom plate moves continuously, allowing solvent to evaporate at the meniscus edge to form crystalline perovskite. As the crystals form, fresh ink is drawn into the meniscus using the same physical process that forms a coffee ring on an absorbent surface such as paper.

"Because solvent evaporation triggers the transport of precursors from the inside to the outside, perovskite precursors accumulate at the edge of the meniscus and form a saturated phase," Lin explained. "This saturated phase leads to the nucleation and growth of crystals. Over a large area, we see a flat and uniform film having high crystallinity and dense growth of large crystals."

To establish the optimal rate for moving the plates, the distance between plates and the temperature applied to the lower plate, the researchers studied the growth of perovskite crystals during MASP. Using movies taken through an optical microscope to monitor the grains, they discovered that the crystals first grow at a quadratic rate, but slow to a linear rate when they began to impinge on their neighbors.

"When the crystals run into their neighbors, that affects their growth," noted He. "We found that all of the grains we studied followed similar growth dynamics and grew into a continuous film on the substrate."

The MASP process generates relatively large crystals - 20 to 80 microns in diameter - that cover the substrate surface. Having a dense structure with fewer crystals minimizes the gaps that can interrupt the current flow, and reduces the number of boundaries that can trap electrons and holes and allow them to recombine.

Using films produced with the MASP process, the researchers have built solar cells that have power conversion efficiencies averaging 18 percent - with some as high as 20 percent. The cells have been tested with more than 100 hours of operation without encapsulation. "The stability of our MASP film is improved because of the high quality of the crystals," Lin said.

Doctor-blading is one of the conventional perovskite fabrication techniques in which higher temperatures are used to evaporate the solvent. Lin and his colleagues heated their substrate to only about 60 degrees Celsius, which would be potentially compatible with polymer substrate materials.

So far, the researchers have produced centimeter-scale samples, but they believe the process could be scaled up and applied to flexible substrates, potentially facilitating roll-to-roll continuous processing of the perovskite materials. That could help lower the cost of producing solar cells and other optoelectronic devices.

"The meniscus-assisted solution printing technique would have advantages for flexible solar cells and other applications requiring a low-temperature continuous fabrication process," Lin added. "We expect the process could be scaled up to produce high throughput, large-scale perovskite films."

Among the next steps are fabricating the films on polymer substrates, and evaluating other unique properties (e.g., thermal and piezotronic) of the material.

###

This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (MURI FA9550-14-1-0037; FA9550-16-1-0187) and National Science Foundation (CMMI-1562075). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agencies.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
John Toon

404-894-6986

Copyright © Georgia Institute of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

CITATION: Ming He, Bo Li, Xun Cui, Beibei Jiang, Yanjie He, Yihuang Chen, Daniel O'Neil, Paul Szymanski, Mostafa A. EI-Sayed, Jinsong Huang and Zhiqun Lin, "Meniscus-assisted solution printing of large-grained perovskite films for high-efficiency solar cells," (Nature Communications, 2017).:

Related News Press

News and information

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Perovskites

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Discoveries

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Corrosion in real time: UCSB researchers get a nanoscale glimpse of crevice and pitting corrosion as it happens September 14th, 2017

Announcements

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Military

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing

Graphene based terahertz absorbers: Printable graphene inks enable ultrafast lasers in the terahertz range September 13th, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Simultaneous Design and Nanomanufacturing Speeds Up Fabrication: Method enhances broadband light absorption in solar cells August 5th, 2017

Carbodeon demonstrates NanoDiamond nickel coatings with enhanced tribological properties June 7th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project