ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Energy

Lead-Free Perovskite Solar Cells

For low-cost photovoltaics, an ammonium tin halide salt offers a lead-free alternative to current perovskite materials

by Mitch Jacoby
May 12, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 19

Solar power enthusiasts have been riding on a wave of recent reports describing increasingly impressive performance of perovskite-based solar cells. The devices, which feature light-absorbing organometal halide materials with the perovskite crystal structure, are promising because they are efficient at converting sunlight to electricity and are relatively inexpensive to make. But one shortcoming still hinders the field: Nearly every study focuses on lead-based perovskites. To address concerns of possible lead toxicity, Northwestern University researchers have come up with a way to get the lead out. A team headed by Mercouri G. Kanatzidis and Robert P. H. Chang prepared solar cells featuring methylammonium tin iodide, CH3NH3SnI3, an air-sensitive lead perovskite analog that is normally incompatible with other solar-cell components (Nat. Photonics 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.82). The team adjusted its fabrication methods to work around the air-sensitivity problem and achieved sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiencies of nearly 6% in prototype devices. They also discovered that the devices’ absorption profiles can further be tuned to capture more of the visible portion of the spectrum by using mixed iodide-bromide perovskites. Kanatzidis believes that with further study the efficiencies can easily be boosted to 15% to match values already achieved using lead perovskites.

09219-scicon-SnPerovskitecxd.jpg
Credit: Adapted From Nat. Photonics
This SEM image depicts the layered structure of a tin perovskite-based solar cell.
X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment