Published on 27 Feb 2023

A new approach to stabilise perovskite solar cells without lead

Prof Sum Tze Chien; Dr Ye Senyun; Dr Rao Haixia, and Prof Lam Yeng Ming

Despite superior performance, efficiency and being cheaper to manufacture, perovskite solar cells have not been commercially manufactured for the consumer market. This is because when perovskite solar cells release lead when damaged or discarded. The lead comes from the perovskite material and a compound used to make a component of the perovskite solar cell, known as the capping layer, that stabilises the solar cell.

Now, a research team led by scientists from NTU Singapore has developed a method that enables non-toxic metals to be used in the manufacture of the capping layer.

Their study, published in Nature Energy in February 2023 and headed by Prof Sum Tze Chien, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies at NTU and Associate Dean (Research) of NTU’s College of Science, and Prof Lam Yeng Ming, Chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, could take perovskite solar cells one step closer to the market.

Using the method, the scientists created a 1 inch by 1 inch prototype solar cell capped with a non-toxic zinc-based compound.

The researchers are working on scaling up the method to fabricate full-sized solar cells and are in the process of filing a patent with NTUitive, NTU Singapore’s innovation and enterprise company.

Read more about this story on the NTU Research Hub

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