Team Studies Potential Photovoltaic Blade Coatings


Researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China are reportedly researching new options in photovoltaic coating technology to develop a clean and low-cost blade coating for solar panels.

A report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science's news outlet EurekAlert states that a team of researchers led by professor Haisheng Song are interested in studying options in next generation photovoltaic technology like quantum dots (QDs) and near-infrared solar cells (NIRSCs). 

About the Research

The report states that until now, devices like QDs NIRSCs have been known to suffer from the absence of a scalable preparation method for device fabrication.

In response to this issue, Song’s team reportedly developed a mixed solvent system from dimethylformamide (DMF) and butylamine (BTA), based on the Lewis acid-base theory and Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey and Overbeek (DLVO) theory.

This new system, the team states, has the ability to keep the stability of QD inks and can work compatibly with the large-scale blade coating process.

According to the report, finding ways to develop clean and low-cost solar photovoltaic power can be an important asset in the path towards reaching carbon neutrality.

A separate report from Science X states that the large area QD film-based device can reach an average PCE of 11.14% and an 800 nm-filtered PCE of 4.28%, reportedly the highest values reached in reported research literature for the blade coating method. 

Song and his team believe that the new research could show how the tandem device, made of a 1.55 eV perovskite top-cell and 1.0 eV PbS QDs bottom-cell, has the potential to reach a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 43%, which is reportedly significantly higher than the 33% single junction limit.

Because of this, 1.0 eV QD NIRSCs reportedly have potential in next-generation photovoltaics and tandem solar cells.

The work, titled "Stable PbS colloidal quantum dot inks enable blade-coating infrared solar cells," was published in Frontiers of Optoelectronics

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Earlier this month, scientists at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) reportedly began studying how perovskite solar cells could be adapted for use as an option for renewable energy.

A release from the university stated that the research was motivated by perovskite’s efficiency in power conversion despite its thermal instability.

Though the perovskite cells can convert power, they reportedly don’t often perform well when exposed to high temperatures. To combat this issue, scientists at CityU created a new type of self-assembled monolayer (SAM) and attached it to a nickel oxide nanoparticle surface as a charge extraction layer to improve the binding ability on the substrate.

The CityU team reportedly then began to focus on the SAM, calling it an essential part of these cells, and thinking of it as a “heat-sensitive shield that needed reinforcement.”

Scientists stated that the new synthesized SAM molecule can promote more efficient charge extraction in perovskite devices.

The most important outcome of the research, according to the team, is how this discovery could change the landscape of solar energy by improving the thermal stability of perovskite solar cells with the new SAMs. The team stated that the new development has laid a foundation for the new cells to work in high-temperature conditions.

By supporting the commercial viability of perovskite solar cells, the team stated that these developments could eventually introduce a new option in the renewable energy market while also establishing a new technology that could play a large role in the shift towards sustainable and efficient energy sources.


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