Organo-lead halide perovskite absorbers offer an extremely promising solution to solar energy conversion, in line with the European Union’s 2020 renewable energy targets. This family of materials can be processed from solution utilizing common techniques and equipment developed by the printing industry, achieving power conversion efficiencies on par with the silicon industry. However, the state-of-the-art perovskite developed uses lead as the metal center, which is highly toxic and water soluble. This poses a serious environmental threat and a serious deterrent to the commercial development of this technology. Furthermore, in the usual processing scheme, toxic solvents such as DMF are used, which in combination with the carcinogenic lead salts employed make the production of these devices rather hazardous.
This project seeks to address these issues via a novel solvothermal in situ bottom-up crystallization approach to form lead-free perovskite films from non-toxic solvents on a range of different substrates. The project has been designed with the idea of exploiting both the Fellow’s previous expertise in solid-state hybrid solar cell design and device physics and the Host’s expertise in the directed growth of ordered, metal-organic crystals. The expected developed devices will directly serve as commercial prototypes for the industrialization of this technology. The technology developed here will contribute to remove a significant hurdle (removal of a very toxic element) towards the implementation of an environmentally friendly alternative solar technology, thus enhancing European industrial competitiveness.
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