Channeling Ions into Defined Pathways Improves Stability and Performance of Perovskite Solar Cells, NC State Scientists Find


Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new method to improve the stability and performance of perovskite solar cells by channeling ions into defined pathways. This discovery opens the door to the development of a new generation of solar cell technologies that are more efficient, flexible, and lightweight, making them more suitable for practical use.


The study, titled ‘A multiscale ion diffusion framework sheds light on the diffusion–stability–hysteresis nexus in metal halide perovskites’ and published in the journal Nature Materials, focuses on the major obstacles to the commercialization of metal halide perovskites, namely, stability and current-voltage hysteresis, which have been linked to ion migration. The research team discovered that stable metal halide perovskites with reduced hysteresis are associated with larger grain boundary diffusivities and smaller volume diffusivities, revealing complex inner couplings between ion migration in the volume of grains versus grain boundaries.


The team presented a multiscale diffusion framework that describes vacancy-mediated halide diffusion in polycrystalline metal halide perovskites, differentiating fast grain boundary diffusivity from volume diffusivity that is two to four orders of magnitude slower. The study revealed an inverse relationship between the activation energies of grain boundary and volume diffusions, which can predict the stability and hysteresis of metal halide perovskites, offering a clearer path to addressing the outstanding challenges of the field.

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The new discovery is expected to revolutionize the development of perovskite solar cells by increasing their efficiency and long-term stability, thereby making them more suitable for widespread use. The new generation of solar cells has the potential to offer several advantages over traditional silicon-based solar cells, including reduced weight, greater flexibility, and improved performance, making them more adaptable to a wider range of applications.


The development of perovskite solar cells has gained considerable attention in recent years due to their potential to reduce the cost of solar power generation while improving efficiency. Although perovskite solar cells have shown significant progress in recent years, issues of stability and hysteresis have hindered their commercial viability. However, the findings of this study could pave the way for a new generation of solar cells that are more efficient and stable, making them an attractive alternative to traditional solar cells.

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