CORDIS - EU research results

In Situ Light Irradiated Perovskite NMR

Project description

Let there be light: reducing photodegradation in promising solar cells

Decreasing cost and enhancing efficiency have been the cornerstones of solar cell research for decades. Perovskite solar cells took the world by storm with their remarkable efficiencies. Now, hybrid perovskite solar cells are on track to deliver what the world wants and needs in terms of cost and efficiency, but they are facing challenges due to photodegradation. Improved methods to characterise photodegradation in situ are required for rational design that overcomes this barrier. The EU-funded iSLIP-NMR project is developing a way to shed light on degradation mechanisms using in situ nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a powerful characterisation technique related to the MRI scanners used in hospitals. The project's work could lead to solar cells that stand the test of time – and light.


Widespread adoption of photovoltaics for clean, plentiful and renewable energy requires cheap, efficient and long-lasting solar cells; hybrid perovskite solar cells are promising candidates but suffer from light-induced degradation under operational conditions. Chemical understanding of the photodegradation processes is required to develop stable materials, but is challenging to obtain with existing techniques. Here we propose to study perovskite degradation under in situ light irradiation using high-resolution solid-state NMR. Solid-state NMR is an atomic-scale, element-specific probe of local structure which has recently been shown to provide important information on perovskite systems, however new methodology is required to perform in situ light irradiation. Significantly, many photodefects will be present at low concentrations and/or localised at surfaces; in order to observe these by NMR, in situ light irradiation will be combined with dynamic nuclear polarisation (DNP), whereby the greater polarisation of unpaired electrons boosts the NMR signal. The project is split into three parts: (1) observation of major perovskite photodegradation products under in situ light irradiation that do not require additional sensitivity; (2) adaptation of DNP NMR to perovskites to observe surface passivating species; and (3) combined DNP-enhanced, in situ light-irradiated NMR to observe minor and/or surface photodefects. All three parts represent innovative methodological advances and will provide key chemical information on perovskite structures and degradation processes to guide future development of stable solar cells. The combination of myself and the Emsley lab is ideal to perform this project, through which I will develop the advanced technical and non-technical research skills required for the project to be succesful. The fellowship will expand my international network and result in wide-reaching research output, which will establish me as an independent researcher.


Net EU contribution
€ 191 149,44
1015 Lausanne

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Région lémanique Vaud
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 191 149,44