Scalable Manufacturing of Thin Film Solar Cells

Project Description

Electricity from photovoltaic solar cells is becoming cost-competitive with conventional electricity and now supplies about 2% of US demand.  While 95% of solar cells currently on the market are made of silicon, halide perovskite thin film solar cells have great promise to enable further cost reductions because they can be manufactured at high rates and low temperatures.  Lab-scale perovskite solar cells have achieved power conversion efficiencies comparable to silicon, but they are typically made by spin-coating, which is slow and wasteful.  In this project, we are investigating the use of slot die coating for scalable, high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing.  We seek to develop fundamental scientific understanding of the deposition and crystallization processes that will enable perovskite solar cells made by roll-to-roll manufacturing to achieve efficiencies that are similar to spin-coated ones.

Research Goals

  • Deposit perovskite films under different processing conditions
  • Characterize films and compare results to determine promising processing conditions
  • Develop processing approaches for contact layers in the solar cell to enable device testing

Learning Goals

  • How to execute and troubleshoot thin film deposition experiments
  • How to relate microscopic and spectroscopic measurements to relevant film properties
  • Understanding which properties are important for solar cell device performance and manufacturing

Groups Conducting Research