UK Study shows storing Perovskite Materials at Low Temp extends lifespan

In a paper published this year, researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK, describe a novel method to add three to four more months to the average lifespan of perovskite materials, thereby throwing light on new ways to cut down wastage in the manufacture of solar cell technologies.

Entitled Perovskites on Ice: An Additive-Free Approach to Increase the Shelf-Life of Triple-Cation Perovskite Precursor Solutions, the paper was published in the journal ChemSusChem in April this year and was authored by Mary E O’Kane, Joel A Smith, Tarek I Alanazi, Elena J Cassella, Onkar Game, Sandra van Meurs, and David G Lidzey. The full study can be accessed here.

The scientists, who worked with the university’s materials science company Ossila Ltd, claim that perovskite materials’ lifespan can be extended from less than 30 days to more than four months if they are stored at low temperatures. A series of experiments were conducted focussing on the stability of perovskite precursor solutions- the light-absorbing layer which is positioned between those used to extract current from the cell. Before they were used to make prototype solar cells, some solutions were stored at room temperature, and others were stored at cooler temperatures (4 degrees Celsius) for varying time periods.

Since current perovskite solar cells have shorter shelf lives, many companies find it hard to maintain production capacity if a consistent supply of precursor solutions is unavailable. This issue can be by-passed altogether, the researchers argue, by storing solutions at low temperatures. Additionally, the structure and composition of the perovskite films made using the so-produced solutions allowed the Sheffield researchers to identify several key reactions that caused their degradation.

The researchers concluded that the improvement in precursor solution stability is directly linked to the suppression of an addition-elimination reaction and the preservation of higher amounts of methylammonium within solution. The research work was supported by a grant given by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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