Project Name: High-Throughput Vapor Deposition for Perovskite-Perovskite Tandem Modules
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Golden, CO
SETO Award Amount: $660,000
Awardee Cost Share: $522,000
Principal Investigator: Joel Jean

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

This project team uses a vapor deposition process to replace the conventional solvent-based process to make uniform tandem perovskite thin-film solar cells. Devices fabricated using this method will be exposed to accelerated testing conditions that simulate long-term operation to identify failure modes and determine overall stability. Results gleaned from the high-throughput method for solar module fabrication presented here can improve scalability of high-quality thin-film PV cells.

APPROACH

The team will develop a vapor deposition system to grow thin-films initially over a 1” x 1” area with later films grown over a smaller area of 15 x 15 cm2  where substrates are carried along through the deposition zone much like a conveyor belt to better understand the deposition process and its limitations. This project will measure film thickness to evaluate deposition uniformity, photoluminescence to evaluate efficiency and use X-ray characterization tools to examine film quality and homogeneity. This information will be used to further refine processing parameters to determine acceptable variability while achieving high growth rates. The growth and deposition rates will be monitored and controlled to standardize the fabrication route and identify process requirements needed to achieve large-scale manufacturing and commercial viability. Predictive cost-modeling tools will be employed to analyze factors influencing production costs. The results of this work will introduce an alternative manufacturing route for the large-scale production of perovskite PV.

INNOVATION

The use of a vapor deposition technique to develop quality, uniform thin-film PVs will address current challenges such as non-uniformity and solvent dissolution associated with current solvent-based deposition processes and widen industrial manufacturing approaches. And while current PV technology is mature, this research effort will inform scalable, high-throughput solar cell production through the use of moving substrates. The well-established end-to-end modeling method proposed in this work allows for an in-depth study of the system and enables cell reliability and manufacturing-performance enhancements to be realized. This work will build upon existing modeling tools that inform the CIGS design process and with success be an integral part of the development framework for cost-effective, high-performance thin-film CIGS cells.