Crown Ethers Enhance Perovskite Solar Cells, Preventing Lead Leakage


Crown Ethers Enhance Perovskite Solar Cells, Preventing Lead Leakage

by Riko Seibo

Busan, South Korea (SPX) Mar 01, 2024

Researchers from Pusan National University in South Korea have made significant strides in addressing the longstanding stability issues plaguing perovskite solar cells, a critical challenge that has hindered their commercial viability. Published in the prestigious Journal of Energy Chemistry, their study introduces a novel approach to enhance the durability and efficiency of these next-generation photovoltaics.

The research team, led by Assistant Professor Ji-Youn Seo, focused on the application of crown ethers, a class of cyclic chemical compounds known for their ability to selectively bind certain ions. By incorporating these ethers into the perovskite solar cells, the team aimed to prevent lead leakage-a major environmental concern-and improve resistance to moisture-induced degradation.

Crown ethers, particularly B18C6, were identified as the most effective in this capacity, providing a dual solution to the cells’ stability problems. The ethers facilitated interfacial passivation, a technique that improves the interface between the perovskite layer and other components of the solar cell. This resulted in increased charge carrier lifetime and enhanced work function, leading to an exceptional power conversion efficiency of 21.7%.

Assistant Professor Seo emphasized the significance of their findings, stating, “This study emphasizes the efficacy of interface passivation by achieving increased power conversion efficiency, and demonstrates that crown ether not only blocks lead leakage through the formation of host-guest complexes with lead ions but also imparts strong resistance to moisture to the treated films, showing improved long-term stability in high humidity environments compared to existing solutions.”

The implications of this research extend beyond environmental safety. Perovskite solar cells, with their superior photoelectric conversion efficiency, are poised to revolutionize the solar energy sector. By potentially replacing silicon solar cells, they can contribute significantly to the global pursuit of carbon neutrality. Moreover, their effectiveness under indoor lighting conditions opens up new applications in electronic devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), offering substantial energy-saving opportunities.

Looking ahead, Dr. Seo envisions a future where perovskite solar cell technology catalyzes advancements in various high-tech industries, including energy, display, and semiconductor materials. Through the development of heterojunction structures, this technology could lead to high-efficiency hydrogen production devices, flexible displays, and three-dimensional semiconductor materials and devices, further solidifying the role of perovskite solar cells in advancing technological innovation and sustainability.

Research Report:Interfacial Engineering Through Lead Binding Using Crown Ethers in Perovskite Solar Cells

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