Project Name: Investigation of Defect Physics for Efficient, Durable, and Ubiquitous Perovskite Solar Modules
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Los Angeles, CA
SETO Award Amount: $1 million
Awardee Cost Share: $250,000
Principal Investigator: Yang Yang 

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

Defects in the perovskite material cause voltage losses in solar cells that reduce their efficiency and contribute to high degradation rates. This project team will identify and characterize the atomic-scale defects in perovskite solar cells, such as missing atoms in the crystalline lattice, that impede improved performance and stability. The team will determine the locations, types, and other characteristics of critical defects in perovskite to develop and implement strategies for mitigating their effects.

APPROACH

The team will first develop methods to control the growth of perovskite crystals to a certain grain size. Then, they will quantify and characterize the defects in these crystals. They will develop and test the effectiveness of different passivation agents—chemical layers to add to the solar cell that mitigate the effects of the defects by allowing electric-charge carriers, such as mobile electrons, to pass through them. The team will analyze correlations between the nature of the defects and the perovskite device’s performance and stability, and build a public library of passivation agents and defect mitigation strategies.

INNOVATION

This team will develop strategies to determine the specific types of defects present in perovskite solar cells. By pinpointing defect sites, these researchers will be able to identify defect types, leading to the development of new mitigation strategies. Ultimately, this work will lead to increased efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells, opening the possibility of commercialization.