For Self-Healing Solar Panels, Just Add Gas

Scientists have developed a cheap and simple way to regenerate smooth surfaces on perovskite crystals.

AsianScientist (Sep. 8, 2015) – Thanks to their unique optical, electric and magnetic properties as well as simple and inexpensive fabrication, organolead halide perovskites have become an attractive light-absorber used in solar panels. Now, scientists found a way to produce a smooth perovskite coating layer simply by supplying CH3NH2 gas to perovskites crystals, pioneering a new way to create smooth solar panels. This work was published in Angewandte Chemie.

As core parts, the formation of high-quality perovskite thin films affects the performance of solar panels significantly. Hence, it is of importance for more research in gaining better control over the crystallization of perovskite from solution to manipulate perovskite coating.

Recently, the Biomimetics for Energy Storage Group led by Professor Cui Guanglei at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor Nitin P. Padture of Brown University have successfully established a new way to manipulate perovskite coating. They developed room-temperature, ultrafast methylamine-induced defect-healing (MIDH) technology.

Central to this unprecedented healing behavior is the unusual chemical interaction between MAPbI3 perovskite and methylamine (CH3NH2) gas. When CH3NH2 gas is introduced, the MAPbI3 perovskite particle starts to smooth and the surface of MAPbI3 perovskite crystals appear to ‘melt’ after a few minutes. Thereafter, the MAPbI3 perovskite crystals full collapse into liquid.

Soon after the ‘melting’ process, the MAPbI3 perovskite recrystallizes along with the darkening of the liquid. Upon reduction of CH3NH2 gas partial pressure, CH3NH2 molecules are released from the liquid, resulting in the reconstruction of the MAPbI3 perovskite structure.

Based on this technology, by treating the rough perovskite films, a high quality perovskite film could be easily obtained to result in a considerable improvement of the efficiency of solar panels developed.

This self-healing behavior of the perovskite materials is fresh new and extremely attractive to materials science researchers and is ready for large scale production.

The article can be found at: Zhou et al. (2015) Methylamine-Gas Induced Defect-Healing Behavior of CH3NH3PbI3 Thin Films for Perovskite Solar Cells.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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