Published on 28 Jul 2023

ICMAT 2023 Satellite Workshop on Perovskite Materials Stability (ICMAT-PMS)

Balaji Shyam Sundar | Master student, MSE NTU

Prof Nam-Gyu Park's talk on perovskite stability challenges and potential solutions. 

The Energy Research Institute (ERI@N), Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Materials Research Society Singapore jointly organised the ICMAT 2023 Satellite Workshop on Perovskite Materials Stability. Held on 30 June 2023 at LT7 NTU, the half-day workshop featured four of the most acclaimed professionals in the field of perovskite namely, Prof Nam-Gyu Park from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, Prof Anita Ho Baillie from The University of Sydney in Australia, Prof Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin from École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and Prof Hongxia Wang from Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

The workshop's main subject was to investigate the complicated mechanisms that create instability in perovskite materials, which is currently the most difficult hurdle for perovskite-based electronics. The workshop provided a forum for effective information sharing, and numerous approaches to addressing the concerns were presented. These solutions were designed to improve perovskite stability as well as the overall performance and dependability of perovskite-based devices. The solutions outlined here, in conjunction with current research and development, have the potential to make substantial progress in overcoming perovskite instability and pave the way for the effective implementation of perovskite-based devices in a variety of applications.

The session began with remarks from Prof Yeng Ming Lam (Chair, MSE) and Dr Annalisa Bruno (ERI@N), who introduced the workshop theme and greeted the distinguished speakers. Prof Nam-Gyu Park began the dialogue by highlighting perovskite stability challenges and potential solutions. He gave us a history of perovskite and perovskite solar cells. He talked about his early experiments with perovskite-sensitised solar cells in 2009 and how he and his team progressed from there to their current efficiency with perovskite solar cells. Along with emphasising the three important areas of focus for increasing the effectiveness of the devices, he also highlighted how the structure of perovskite solar cells has evolved. He additionally briefed the audience about other challenges that perovskite solar cells face in becoming economically viable. Finally, as the amount of research on perovskites has risen substantially over the years, it is vital to improve the overall operational stability of perovskite while also providing a standard series of manufacturing processes for mass production. His presentation provided all participants with an understanding on the relevance of perovskite stability as well as a few commercialisation approaches.

Prof Anita Ho Baillie delivered the second talk of the day. She began with a quick overview of solar cell development in Sydney and then moved on to Tandem solar cells. She offered the audience some important insights into how to improve the lifetime of perovskite solar cells to match that of commercially available silicon solar cells. She explained the accelerated tests and how they may be used to evaluate a device's operation and product warranty. She further explored ways to encapsulate perovskite solar cells to increase their stability. She also stated the reported chemical analysis applied to understand the decomposition mechanism of perovskite and the associated compounds in the concluding part of her talk.

Prof Anita Ho Baillie (left) and Prof Hongxia Wong presenting their talks to engaging audience.

Prof Hongxia Wang presented the third talk, "Green Solvent Approach for Fabrication of Stable Metal Halide Perovskite for Solar Cells." She began her presentation by stressing the new mandate of the European Commission (EU) Consumer Affairs on the ban of the solvent N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) beginning 12 December 2023. This made the audience more aware of the critical requirement for a solvent replacement in the fabrication of perovskite thin films. She educated the audience on various green solvents that could replace DMF. These green solvents significantly improved the lifetime of perovskite thin films when compared to those dispersed in DMF. She also mentioned the manufacture of FAPbI3 perovskites utilising unusual solvents like water, as well as her approach for stabilising such perovskites (preventing them from dissolving). She closed her talk by emphasising the significance of green solvents in the industrialisation of perovskite devices and how knowing the solution chemistry of green solvent systems will be the key to producing efficient perovskite materials for solar cells and their applications.

In Prof Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin's online talk, he shared how to improve the power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells by interlayer engineering of triple-cation perovskite films. One of his strategies entailed using Self-assembled Monolayers (SAMs) as HTL rather than traditional Spiro-based HTL because they degrade faster. He also gave a fantastic talk on stabilising inverted architecture devices for maximum performance, along with a few findings from his research. He also gave the audience some pointers on how to modify A site cations to improve device stability. He went on to discuss how the usage of multi-dimensional perovskites could improve device stability and provided certain findings on the same. He concluded his presentation by outlining the strategies he used to improve perovskite stability for high-performance inverted architecture perovskite solar cells.

Dr Annalisa Bruno closed the workshop by thanking the speakers for their knowledge sharing and assisting the cohorts of the perovskite community in gaining new insights on several strategies that could be implemented to improve perovskite stability and device performance. The workshop lunch session also proved to be a great opportunity for the researchers to network and discuss various ideas and topics outside of the presented topics. 

A laboratory tour of NTU’s FACTS characterisation laboratory and the ERI@N fabrication facility was organised for the registered participants of the ICMAT-PMS workshop. The participants were impressed by the research infrastructure and capability.

Participants attending the lab tour at ERI@N Fabrication facility.

Overall, the workshop represented an excellent platform to promote open discussion. The speakers discussed the promise and limitations of perovskite technology during the Q&A sessions following each discussion.  The insights and breakthroughs presented allowed participants to get a deeper grasp of the intricate mechanisms underlying perovskite stability concerns, as well as techniques and methodologies for addressing these issues while boosting device performance.

The event was a huge success in terms of encouraging open debates, exchanging knowledge, and showcasing accomplishments, all of which contribute considerably to the scientific community's collaborative pursuit of developing perovskite solar cell research. The exchange of ideas and identification of important challenges lay the groundwork for future paths that will push the boundaries of this promising technology even farther.