Project Name: Ultra-High Efficiency and Stable All-Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Research Area: Photovoltaics
Location: Toledo, OH
SETO Award Amount: $1,100,000
Awardee Cost Share: $275,000
Principal Investigator: Yanfa Yan

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

Tandem perovskite solar cells, composed of two layers of thin-film perovskite layers that are sensitive to different parts of the visible solar spectrum, are theoretically capable of exceeding 40% efficiency— well above the physical efficiency limit of silicon solar cells. This project team will study the two layers to identify techniques to improve them individually, then develop interconnecting layers that work with the perovskite layers to create a 25% efficient tandem cell, 4% higher than the current state of the art.

APPROACH

The team will explore new methods for fabricating single-perovskite-layer solar cells, test strategies to stabilize them against degradation, and use the resulting higher-quality layers to build tandem cells. Then they will use an electron microscope to study how the tandem cells degrade. The team will test ways to improve the performance of the individual layers, the interconnecting layer between the two perovskite layers, and the tandem cell as a whole. Finally, the team will ensure the cell’s efficiency does not decrease faster than that of typical perovskite cells. Throughout the project, they will engage with stakeholders to determine research directions, including at least two solar cell manufacturers interested in industrial fabrication of perovskite cells.

INNOVATION

Tandem perovskite solar cells are theoretically capable of cost-effectively reaching efficiencies that exceed what is commercially available today. This project aims to build a cell that demonstrates 25% efficiency—a significant increase compared to the 21% efficiency that is the current state-of-the-art—and degrades at a similar rate as other perovskite cells. Achieving this goal would be a step toward improving and eventually commercializing perovskite technology.