Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 9, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Synthesis cost dictates the commercial viability of lead sulfide and perovskite quantum dot photovoltaics

Author affiliations

Abstract

Any new solar photovoltaic (PV) technology must reach low production costs to compete with today's market-leading crystalline silicon and commercial thin-film PV technologies. Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) could open up new applications by enabling lightweight and flexible PV modules. However, the cost of synthesizing nanocrystals at the large scale needed for PV module production has not previously been investigated. Based on our experience with commercial QD scale-up, we develop a Monte Carlo model to analyze the cost of synthesizing lead sulfide and metal halide perovskite QDs using 8 different reported synthetic methods. We also analyze the cost of solution-phase ligand exchange for preparing deposition-ready PbS QD inks, as well as the manufacturing cost for roll-to-roll solution-processed PV modules using these materials. We find that present QD synthesis costs are prohibitively high for PV applications, with median costs of 11 to 59 $ per g for PbS QDs (0.15 to 0.84 $ per W for a 20% efficient cell) and 73 $ per g for CsPbI3 QDs (0.74 $ per W). QD ink preparation adds 6.3 $ per g (0.09 $ per W). In total, QD materials contribute up to 55% of the total module cost, making even roll-to-roll-processed QDPV modules significantly more expensive than silicon PV modules. These results suggest that the development of new low-cost synthetic methods is critically important for the commercial relevance of QD photovoltaics. Using our cost model, we identify strategies for reducing synthetic cost and propose a cost target of 5 $ per g to move QD solar cells closer to commercial viability.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis cost dictates the commercial viability of lead sulfide and perovskite quantum dot photovoltaics

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 08 May 2018, accepted on 17 Jul 2018 and first published on 23 Jul 2018


Article type: Analysis
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01348A
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2018,11, 2295-2305
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Synthesis cost dictates the commercial viability of lead sulfide and perovskite quantum dot photovoltaics

    J. Jean, J. Xiao, R. Nick, N. Moody, M. Nasilowski, M. Bawendi and V. Bulović, Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, 11, 2295
    DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01348A

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements