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High Performance Perovskite Solar Cells

Researchers at UMKC have developed an HTL layer PCA-1 that is inexpensive, collects and transports a charge fast, forms uniform dense films, and has a good moisture barrier. Perovskite solar cells have surpassed traditional silicon solar cells in efficiency in a short time. Companies are not yet commercializing perovskite solar cells because of poor stability and other issues. Perovskite solar cells typically have a multi-layer structure. The current state-of-the-art HTL layer is cost prohibitive at $300/g (shown as the HTL layer Spiro-OMe TAD doped with LI-TFSI) and hygroscopic. We need better HTL which is cheaper, better charge conducting, better moisture resistant, and good film forming.


Perovskite solar cells have the same potential uses as traditional silicon cells with the added benefit of flexibility. Commercial use, residential use and as prices decline, personal use are all possibilities.

U.S. Solar Market Through 2016: Key Takeaways

  • 14.8 GW installed in 2016
  • 97% growth in Photovoltaic (PV) market over 2015
  • Largest year on record, surpassing 2015; Q4 2016 largest quarter on record
  • Over 42 GW of total solar capacity now installed
  • CAGR of 59% since 2010
  • Generates enough electricity to power 8.3 million homes
  • Solar top source of new electric generating capacity installed in 2016
  • Represented 39% of all new electric capacity added to U.S. grid
  • First time solar ranks first; Natural Gas represented 29% and Wind 26%
  • Solar prices dropped 29% from Q4 2015 to Q4 2016
  • Price drop is seen across all market segments, led by reduced hardware costs
  • Prices have dropped 67% since 2011
  • Utility-scale PPAs now signed for $0.03 - $0.05/kWh
  • In 2016, a new solar installation was completed every 84 seconds
  • Now 1.3 million installations in the U.S.

PCA-1 layer has been demonstrated in the lab and preliminary efficiency data has been collected. There is a need to perfect the layering in a clean room environment and demonstrate its high efficiencies and high stability in a working large area solar cell.

As the article cited below suggests “Perovskite solar cells are one of the most exciting green energy technologies to emerge in recent years, combining low cost with high energy conversion rates.” Researchers like Dr. Peng are striving to overcome the difficulties of the layering of the cell. Other researchers are working as well and are attempting to find lower cost layering solutions as noted below.

“Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to cut their cost even further by developing a charge-carrying material that is much cheaper, highly efficient, and could even help address the technology's current major weakness by significantly lengthening the lifespan of the panels.”

“The new material, dissymmetric fluorene–dithiophene (FDT), is said to cost less than one fifth to synthesize than previous compounds (US$60 versus $500 per gram) while still retaining a very competitive energy conversion rate of 20.2 percent.”

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University of Missouri - Kansas City

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