Project Name: Scalable Manufacturing of Efficient Perovskite/Silicon Tandem Modules
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
SETO Award Amount: $1,500,000
Awardee Cost Share: $300,000
Principal Investigator: Jinsong Huang

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

This project aims to exceed the efficiency limit of an individual solar cell by creating a tandem solar cell with a layer of silicon and a layer of perovskite and show that it can be more cost-effective than commercial silicon cells. The team will then develop a process for low-cost, high-throughput production of these cells in an existing fabrication facility. This project could lay the groundwork for commercial-scale manufacturing of high-efficiency, mixed-material tandem solar cells.

APPROACH

The team will build a tandem solar cell with a top layer composed of thin-film perovskite crystal and a bottom layer of silicon crystal. Each layer will be engineered to absorb distinct wavelength ranges of sunlight, to ensure that the top perovskite layer does not absorb light that the silicon below is meant to absorb. This work also requires finding a way to prevent the perovskite layer from degrading, so the team will apply damp heat, a standard industry testing procedure, to ensure the materials’ stability. The team will work on the cell until it reaches or exceeds 30% efficiency.

INNOVATION

A perovskite/silicon tandem cell with at least 30% efficiency would exceed the 24.7% efficiency of individual silicon cells. The team also intends to show that perovskite/silicon tandem cells will cost less than conventional silicon cells and develop a high-throughput fabrication method, which will be key for the cells’ commercialization.