Project 13: Perovskite Solar Cells (Prof. Thad Druffel, Conn Center)

The opportunity for a thin film photovoltaic roll-to-roll platform has been reinvigorated recently by the advancement of the perovskite solar cell. The technology incorporates an absorber that is almost exclusively deposited using solution phase deposition techniques such as spin coating followed by post-processing involving solvent-solvent exchanges. However, to move the device into a roll-to-roll platform it will be necessary to develop the deposition and post-processing techniques to deposit uniform defect free films across a wide area on flexible substrates such as willow glass™ and plastics. In our initial work we have been able to deposit PbI2 uniformly over a large area using ultrasonic spray. We have also utilized an intense pulsed light (IPL) technique to sinter the perovskite crystals leading to a cell efficiency of 12.3%. In this project the student will be involved in depositing perovskite thin films onto flexible substrates in order to establish a flexible solar cell. The student will be involved in prepping flexible substrates for the perovskite solar cell, deposition of the perovskite layers using roll-to-roll relevant techniques and fabrication of perovskite devices. As a part of this work techniques to measure the uniformity of the films will be explored using electron microscopy and spectroscopy tools as well as the performance testing of the devices. The intent will be to implement the fully executable method into a roll-to-roll platform.