Project Name: Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Continuous Perovskite Modules
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Louisville, KY
SETO Award Amount: $850,000
Awardee Cost Share: $250,000
Principal Investigator: Thad Druffel
-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --
Making perovskite solar cells involves a process called annealing, in which the cell is heated in an oven to grow perovskite crystals that will absorb sunlight. This process takes roughly half an hour, but this project team will use intense pulsed light to perform the annealing in one second. If successful, this process will pave the way for high-throughput, commercial production of perovskite solar cells via roll-to-roll manufacturing, a large-scale technique that moves the flexible base of the solar cell between rolls on a printer.
One critical obstacle to mass production of perovskite solar cells lies in depositing a layer of perovskite material onto an electrically-conducting layer of metal oxide from a solution of the perovskite precursor. Annealing evaporates the solvent, but the time in the oven complicates large-scale manufacturing. This team will instead use radiative annealing, in which the material is heated with light, to evaporate the solvent and strengthen the solar cell. The team has developed methods for roll-to-roll manufacturing of similar materials and will study and refine this technique for specific material combinations to determine the best way to scale up perovskite solar cell manufacturing.
Using pulses of light to heat the perovskite while in solution will significantly speed up the solar cell annealing process to facilitate high-speed roll-to-roll manufacturing. Studying and refining this manufacturing process, and providing a design tool for manufacturers, will enable cost-effective, large-scale manufacturing of perovskite solar cells.