Scientists have increased the life of solar panels five times – Search

09/19/2022

NUST MISIS scientists managed to increase the service life of perovskite-based solar cells by five times: increase stability, increase wear resistance and reduce energy losses due to external factors. For this, a two-dimensional nanomaterial, maxene, was added to the architecture of the device, which made it possible to increase the thermal stability of the perovskite elements by three times and reduce efficiency losses by up to 4%. The main advantage of the development is the availability of scaling this method in industrial technological processes. The results of the study are published in the journal small.

At the moment, the most common component of solar cells is crystalline silicon photocells, which require complex technologies, high temperatures, large capital costs for equipment, which significantly increases the final cost of the product. The maximum efficiency of these devices is approximately 26%, the efficiency limit for obtaining energy from solar cells is 33%, which implies the difficulty of further increasing their efficiency.

An alternative to silicon solar cells may be thin-film perovskite solar cells, which use a new hybrid material: perovskite, which absorbs light more strongly and efficiently than silicon in thin films (the thickness of a solar cell of perovskite is 1 micron, and for silicon – 200 microns). Also, unlike silicon, perovskite-based solar cells can be applied to almost any substrate, such as glass or a flexible surface. In addition, perovskite solar panels can generate energy even in an office space, charging from light bulbs. The cost of this energy in the industrial production of perovskite solar cells can become cheaper than energy from traditional sources: oil, coal and gas.

However, to date, the perovskite solar cell is unstable and short-lived, as chemical reactions between the layers, as well as environmental factors, accelerate corrosion and reduce efficiency.

Scientists from NUST MISIS, the University of Grenoble Alpes and the University of Rome Tor Vergata have proposed a technology to stabilize perovskite batteries and increase their corrosion resistance using MXenes, carbides or two-dimensional transition metal nitrides.

Danila Saranin, Ph.D., Deputy Head of the Advanced Solar Energy Laboratory at MISIS University:

“A hybrid of bathocuproin and maxene, two-dimensional titanium carbide, acted as an intermediate layer between the fullerene n-layer and the copper cathode. The best sample was found at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml of bathocuproin in isopropanol and 0, 75 mg/ml of magene. The efficiency of this sample was 17.46% compared to 16.45% of the sample without the addition of magene. At the same time, the wear resistance of samples containing magene under conditions of constant exposure to to light and heat is several times higher than that of the samples without magene. When the thermal stability was tested at 80 °C, the efficiency of the solar cell with magene dropped to 80% of its original value after 1080 hours of operation, while the cell without magene produced 330 hours.The light absorption test showed that the efficiency decreased by 4% from the initial value after 2300 hours due to the magene, the efficiency of the sample without magene decreased to 80% in 430 hours.

The experiments confirmed that the addition of a hybrid of bathocuproine and magene as an “interface” between the neo-cathode layer not only increases the efficiency of the perovskite solar cell, but also promotes long-term stabilization between the layers. Maxen prevents chemical breakdown and increases the wear resistance of the device.

Interface engineering by NUST MISIS scientists and foreign colleagues can be an effective solution to the problem of limited lifetime and rapid decrease in efficiency of perovskite solar cells. The main advantage of the development is the availability of scaling this method in industrial technological processes, since the new method adds new ones and does not complicate the design of the device. In fact, adding a special material, maxene, to a solar cell printing ink can significantly increase its durability.

Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS:

“The science of modern materials is, first of all, a search for new methods and technologies for the creation and implementation of promising materials, as well as a reduction of the time from their development to their implementation. As part of the implementation of the strategic project “Materials of the Future” of the state program “Priority 2030″, MISIS University sets itself the task of reducing the time of creating new materials from 20 to 5, and in some cases even increasing it. to 2 years. operation and efficiency of new generation solar cells. One of the main advantages of its latest development is the availability of scaling this method to industrial production.”

The development team is currently adapting the method for industrial implementation and plans to move to pilot prototyping in a large format. Scientists are actively developing applied solutions based on this technology and are open to cooperation in the development of product areas.

NUST MISIS Press Service

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