Singaporean scientists have reviewed all thermal evaporation methods for the production of perovskite solar cells and modules. Despite the limitations, new methods can lead to higher production capacity and more efficient products.
January 2, 2023 Emiliano Bellini
Scientists at the Energy Research Institute of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have investigated how thermal evaporation (TE) can be used to make mini-perovskite solar modules. TE is a mature technique widely used in the microelectronics and optoelectronics industries to produce organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), metal contacts, and coatings for various materials.
“We analyzed the use of several evaporation-based techniques to fabricate halogen perovskite thin films,” said researcher Annalisa Bruno. pv magazine. “These range from relatively simple single-source deposition and multi-source co-evaporation to more complex multi-stage evaporation and hybrids of thermal evaporation with gas reaction and solution processing.”
According to him, this combined approach uses the advantages of both methods. But he noted that this also has some limitations, such as increased complexity and the use of solvents.
“We believe that thermal evaporation is the ideal perovskite deposition method to make a rapid breakthrough because it is easily scalable, free of hazardous solvents, and already well integrated into current opto- and microelectronics production lines,” said Bruno.
One of the key issues with co-evaporation is the need for extensive optimization of deposition parameters for perovskites with complex stoichiometry, especially when more than two or three precursors are evaporated simultaneously, the researchers said. They also noted that sedimentation time may be a barrier to commercial production, as most studies of these methods have neglected this issue.
Their review presented a number of methods for the production of both perovskite solar cells and mini-modules. These methods include single-step thermal evaporation, multi-step thermal evaporation, and multi-step hybrid deposition.
“Using the same production lines, it would be desirable to produce not only evaporated perovskite films, but also fully evaporated modules,” the group said.
Advantages include a high degree of process control, precisely controlled film thickness, easy sequential addition of multiple layers, and the ability to process at low substrate temperatures. The researchers claim that the methods can also allow for better purification of precursors during film formation, excellent spatial uniformity in device arrays, good reproducibility over multiple production runs, and high productivity.
“The entire process can be automated and controlled, making it attractive for large-scale and high-throughput production,” they said.
They described their fabrication methods in a recent paper, Thermal Evaporation and Hybrid Deposition of Perovskite Solar Cells and Mini-Modules, published in Joule.
“We believe that the future of research in this area should look at new optimal device interlayers to improve active material quality and transparency, passivate defects with vacuum-based methods, and increase operational stability to maximize and realize full potential. of thermally evaporated perovskite solar devices,” Bruno said.
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