Non-toxic solvent removes barrier to commercialisation of perovskite solar cells
Scientists at Oxford University have developed a solvent system with reduced toxicity that can be used in the manufacture of perovskite solar cells, clearing one of the barriers to the commercialisation of a technology that promises to revolutionise the solar industry.
Perovskites – a family of materials with the crystal structure of calcium titanate – have been described as a 'wonder material' and shown to be almost as efficient as silicon in harnessing solar energy, as well as being significantly cheaper to produce.
By combining methylamine and acetonitrile, researchers have developed a clean solvent with a low boiling point and low viscosity that quickly crystallises perovskite films at room temperature and could be used to help coat large solar panels with the material.
The results are published in the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Energy & Environmental Science.
Dr Nakita Noel of Oxford’s Department of Physics, lead author of the study, said: 'At the moment, there are three main solvents used in the manufacture of perovskite solar cells, and they are all toxic, which means you wouldn't want to come into contact with them.
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Image credit: Dennis Schroeder