Photochemical Characterisation of Perovskites to Inform Stability and Sustainability

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: School of Engineering

Abstract

Solar energy is a key component of current and future renewable energy. However, analysis of materials requirements for large-scale PV deployment has shown that solar energy production may well be more limited, from a technological and sustainable point of view than initially supposed. Printable Photovoltaics (PPV), which include dye-sensitized, perovskite and organic solar cells, are promising green energy technologies in their infancy, and prime candidates for full lifecycle optimisation to create truly sustainable renewable energy technologies. The remarkable evolution of perovskite-based solar cells (PSCs) during the last few years, reaching certified power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) over 20% and the recent materials developments for organic photovoltaics (OPV) with higher efficiency and enhanced stability have confirmed PPV as an extremely strong candidate for low cost, low embodied energy, performance-competitive PV technology. Currently, international progress in PV research and technology is running at an unparalleled rate, with major contributions from the SPECIFIC group at Swansea University. This involves developing cheaper materials, along with reducing the energy, cost, and time needed to process materials. When these technologies emerge onto the market it is likely that they will be used initially in niche building and product integrated applications. Lifecycle optimisation for these products must include development of end-of-life (EoL) strategies, appropriate design optimisation and substitution of primary and critical resources. Full lifecycle optimisation for circular economy, however, requires further intervention enabling circular flows of PPV materials and products through reuse, remanufacturing and recycling.

The overall aim of this project is to develop an understanding of device photophysics and photochemistry to inform development of remanufacturing and material substitution strategies for perovskite devices, resulting in world leading, high impact articles in the premier international journals in the field. This involves studying the replacement of the current materials used in perovskite photovoltaic devices that hinders its commercial viability (e.g. looking at critical materials, toxic materials, toxic solvents used in manufacture). Material substitutions will be characterised by investigated the changes in photovoltaic device performance (J-V data, EQE etc) and film characteristics of individual layers (UV/Vis, photoluminescence, photoluminescence lifetimes, XRD, SEM as appropriate) versus control devices. Additionally, environmental and lifecycle benefits will be quantified through appropriate lifecycle cost analysis. Work into replacing the toxic solvents currently used in device manufacture (DMF, chlorobenzene) is a primary focus.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R51312X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2278160 Studentship EP/R51312X/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Alexander Doolin