Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer (centre) along with researcher scholars Rabindranath Garai (left) and Ritesh Kant Gupta

Guwahati: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) have developed a highly efficient, cost-effective, perovskite-based solar cells to produce electricity from sunlight.

These perovskite-based solar cells or photovoltaic devices are also easy to manufacture and easily recyclable.

“They have been developed to achieve power conversion efficiency beyond 21 percent by utilising economical solution-based photovoltaic device-processing techniques at mild room temperature and realising high ambient, thermal and optical stability,” a statement from IIT-Guwahati issued on Wednesday said.

Among all the renewable energy sources, energy from the sun (solar energy) is considered to be the most sustainable due to its ample availability on the earth surface. 

Currently, inorganic solar cells (silicon-based) are a major player in the market. However, this technology requires high-temperature processing, increasing the price of solar panels. Further, the recycling of solar panels is hazardous and complicated.

The research on perovskite solar cells (PSCs) has experienced tremendous attention due to their exponential growth in terms of efficiencies achieved within a decade. However, the perovskite materials are extremely unstable towards ambient (humidity and oxygen) conditions that restrict their commercialisation.

The research team at IIT Guwahati comprising research scholars Rabindranath Garai (Department of Chemistry), Ritesh Kant Gupta (Centre for Nanotechnology), Arvin Sain Tanwar (Department of Chemistry) and Maimur Hossain (Department of Chemistry), working under the supervision of Prof Parameswar K. Iyer, Department of Chemistry and Centre for Nanotechnology and School for Health Science and Technology, IIT Guwahati, have achieved remarkable results in terms of efficiency and stability of the PSCs.

In this recent study of IIT Guwahati, published in the American Chemical Society journal, Chemistry of Materials, charged conjugated polymers have been incorporated in photovoltaic devices as a passivation molecule to achieve defect-free high-quality perovskite solar cell devices.

“The passivated defect-free device reveals a high efficiency of 20.17 per cent with excellent reproducibility. Such polymer-based passivation method effectively improved the long-term device stability by improving the hydrophobicity of the perovskite layer,” the statement said.

In another recent investigation of the IIT-G team, published in The Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Journal of Materials Chemistry, the researchers demonstrated the development of solution-processed multi-dimensional (2D-3D) graded perovskites and the precise role of surface recrystallisation to achieve very high efficiency, stability and economical device scalability by mitigating the perovskite defects.

Speaking on research output, Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer said that organic-inorganic hybrid PSCs have experienced rapid growth in terms of efficiency and stability due to the development of highly efficient functional materials combined with careful device engineering.

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