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HYbrid PERovskites for Next GeneratION Solar Cells and Lighting

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - HYPERION (HYbrid PERovskites for Next GeneratION Solar Cells and Lighting)

Período documentado: 2022-05-01 hasta 2023-10-31

The development and implementation of low-cost, clean, and scalable energy solutions is imperative to not only securing a peaceful and sustainable future, but to also improving the livelihood of the 1.3 billion people worldwide who lack access to electricity. Optoelectronic devices such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) incorporating new, inexpensive materials show tremendous promise to alter the energy landscape by reducing the cost of both energy production and consumption. However, the widespread adoption of PV demands new technologies to achieve power conversion efficiencies (PCE) beyond the 26% demonstrated by the market-dominant crystalline silicon (c-Si). Likewise, LEDs must surpass the luminous efficacies (i.e. the efficiency of producing visible light) of conventional LED light (~150 lmW-1).

An emerging class of materials called hybrid perovskites is poised to revolutionise how power is both produced and consumed by enabling the production of highly-efficient, tunable solar photovoltaics (PV) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at exceptionally low cost. Although the efficiencies of perovskite devices are rising fast, both PV and LEDs fall short of out-performing current technology and reaching their theoretical performance limits. To achieve their full potential, parasitic non-radiative losses and bandgap instabilities from ionic segregation must be fundamentally understood and eliminated. HYPERION will address these issues by i) elucidating the origins of non-radiative decay and ion segregation in films and devices, ii) devising means to eliminate these processes, and iii) implementing optimised materials into boundary-pushing PV and LED devices. This will be achieved through a groundbreaking hierarchical analysis of the perovskite structures that not only characterises thin films and interfaces, but also the sub-units that comprise them, including grain-to-grain and sub-granular properties. The optoelectronic behaviour on these scales will be simultaneously correlated with local structural and chemical properties. HYPERION will use this fundamental understanding to eliminate non-radiative losses and ionic segregation on all scales through passivation treatments and compositional control. Addressing these knowledge gaps in the operation of perovskites will produce fundamental semiconductor science discoveries as well as illuminate routes to yield optimised and functional perovskites across the broad bandgap range 1.2–3.0 eV. These will be used to demonstrate all-perovskite tandem PV devices with efficiency exceeding crystalline silicon (26%), and white light LEDs with efficacies surpassing fluorescent light (50 lm/W). The work will realise the promise of perovskite technology as a versatile and scalable energy solution to secure a sustainable future.
The HYPERION team has achieved the project objectives. To do so, we developed several important new techniques to reveal insight into these semiconductors, particularly on the nanoscale. This includes multimodal microscopy techniques to perform measurements on the same scan area, allowing us to correlate the local photophysics properties with the local chemical and structural properties. Using these techniques, we discovered that the non-radiative power losses and instabilities arise from undesired nanoscale phase impurities in processed films grains – a breakthrough in our local understanding of these devices (Nature 2020, Science 2021, Nature 2022). We developed new passivation techniques to minimise the non-radiative losses and ion migration, leading to stable and efficient solar cell devices (Nature, 2018). The work overall revealed the complex, rich nanoscale environments of halide perovskites and how it impacts device performance.

Towards advanced device structures, we developed low bandgap perovskite absorbers that have excellent transport properties (Nature Materials, 2023) and minimise ion migration (Energy and Environmental Science, In Press). We also developed wide bandgap materials through scalable thermal evaporation, realising homogeneous properties that allow control of film parameters, performance and stability (ACS Energy Letters 2020). We have combined these to make high-performance all-perovskite tandem solar cells, with efficiencies >24% utilising a vapour deposited wide bandgap sub-cell (ACS Energy Letters 2023) and studying all-solution-processed systems at the 30% mark (submitted for publication). For LEDs, we have generated high performance red/near-infrared (Nature 2023), green (Nature Electronics 2020) and blue (Nature Photonics, In Press) LEDs, and demonstrated high-quality white light LEDs with >50 lm/W (submitted for publication).

This work has culminated in a number of plenary, invited and contributed talks for the HYPERION team, high-impact papers, and prizes (for the PI: the 2018 Henry Moseley Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics, 2019 Marlow Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021 Leverhulme Prize and 2021 EES Lectureship; for PhD student Camille Stavrakas: Molecular Foundry Best Student Paper award 2019). Furthermore, a spin out company Swift Solar co-founded by the PI is commercialising high-performance perovskite PV panels utilising the published results (https://www.swiftsolar.com/) and an ERC Proof of Concept grant has been awarded (PEROVSCI, 957513) to commercialise promising materials for X-Ray detector applications.
Cover art for Nature Nanotechnology paper showing nanoscale landscape in perovskite solar cells