Info
Info
News Article

A Safer, Greener Way To Make Solar Cells

News

Swansea University researchers discover non-toxic biodegrabale solvent for fabricating printed carbon perovskite solar cells

Scientists at SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, Swansea University, UK, have found a way to replace the toxic, unsustainable solvents currently needed to make the next generation of solar technology.

Printed carbon perovskite solar cells have been described as a likely front runner to the market because they are extremely efficient at converting light to electricity, cheap and easy to make.

A major barrier to the large-scale manufacture and commercialisation of these cells is the solvents used to control crystallisation of the perovskite during fabrication: this is because they are made from unsustainable materials and are banned in many countries due to their toxicity and psychoactive effects.

SPECIFIC's researchers have discovered that a non-toxic biodegradable solvent called γ-Valerolactone (GVL) could replace these solvents without impacting cell performance.

GVL's list of advantages could improve the commercial viability of carbon perovskite solar devices: it is made from sustainable feedstocks; there are no legal issues in its use around the world; it is suitable for use in large-scale manufacturing processes; and it is non-toxic and biodegradable.

Carys Worsley, who led the research as part of her doctorate, said: "To be truly environmentally sustainable, the way that solar cells are made must be as green as the energy they produce. As the next generation of solar technologies approaches commercial viability, research to reduce the environmental impact of large-scale production will become increasingly important."

Trystan Watson, research group leader, added: "Many problems need to be resolved before these technologies become a commercial reality. This solvent problem was a major barrier, not only restricting large-scale manufacture but holding back research in countries where the solvents are banned.

"We hope our discovery will enable countries that have previously been unable to participate in this research to become part of the community and accelerate the development of cleaner, greener energy."

The research was made possible with funding from the UKRI Global Challenge Research Fund SUNRISE project and through funding of the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, Innovate UK, and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

'γ-Valerolactone: A Nontoxic Green Solvent for Highly Stable Printed Mesoporous Perovskite Solar Cells' by Carys Worsley et al; Energy Technology 04 May 2021



AngelTech Live III: Watch the virtual event ON-DEMAND!

AngelTech Live III was broadcast live on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and features online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

The event covered the whole spectrum of key developments affecting the compound semiconductor industry. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. This was considered a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

With 3 interactive sessions over 1 day AngelTech Live III proved to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FREE

VIEW ON-DEMAND

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}
Live Event