PROJECT PROFILE: University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (PVRD-SIPS)

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Project Name: Green, Stable and Earth Abundant Ionic Photovoltaic Absorbers Based on Chalcogenide Perovskite
Funding Opportunity: PVRD-SIPS
SETO Subprogram: Photovoltaics
Location: Buffalo, NY
Award Amount: $224,814
Awardee Cost Share: $60,657
Project Investigator: Hao Zeng

This project aims to accelerate the development of green, stable, and earth abundant ionic photovoltaic (PV) absorbers based on chalcogenide perovskite materials. These nontoxic, earth-abundant compounds have electronic properties that make them ideal for cultivating energy from the sun. The materials will be incorporated into solar cells as thin films that absorb and convert sunlight into usable electricity.

Approach

The research team will develop techniques for producing thin films made from chalcogenide perovskites by optimizing the electronic and optical properties through defect engineering. The material’s PV-related properties, such as band gap, carrier mobility, and optical absorption, will be studied to pave the way for further integration of these materials into solar cell devices.

Innovation

Chalcogenide perovskites are a novel class of semiconductors. Sharing some similarities to the widely researched halide perovskites, and unlike most conventional semiconductors, chalcogenide perovskites are strongly ionic. This characteristic is expected to provide intrinsic defect properties favorable for charge transport in PV absorbers. The resulting product could enable PV devices with efficiencies higher than 25%, which could lower the levelized cost of energy to $0.02-0.03 per kilowatt hour by 2030.