A team at Stanford University in the US have developed a high speed manufacturing process for perovskite solar cells.
The rapid-spray plasma processing technique uses two nozzles to make thin films of photovoltaic perovskite. One nozzle spray-coats a liquid solution of perovskite chemical precursors onto a pane of glass, while the other releases a burst of highly reactive ionized gas plasma.
This operates at 12m/minute and so can be part of a roll-to-roll manufacturing process. The resulting perovskite material has a conversion efficiency of 18 percent, which is high for large solar cells.
“This work provides a new milestone for perovskite manufacturing,” said Reinhold Dauskardt, the Ruth G. and William K. Bowes Professor in the Stanford School of Engineering. “It resolves some of the most formidable barriers to module-scale manufacturing that the community has been dealing with for years.”
“You can make a small demonstration device in the lab but conventional perovskite processing isn’t scalable for fast, efficient manufacturing,” said Dauskardt.
“Conventional processing requires you to bake the perovskite solution for about half an hour,” said researcher Nick Rolston. “Our innovation is to use a plasma high-energy source to rapidly convert liquid perovskite into a thin-film solar cell in a single step.”
“We achieved the highest throughput of any solar technology,” Rolston said. “You can imagine large panels of glass placed on rollers and continuously producing layers of perovskite at speeds never accomplished before.”