Proof-of-concept for facile perovskite solar cell recycling†
Perovskite solar cells based on CH3NH3PbI3 and related materials have reached impressive efficiencies that, on a lab scale, can compete with established solar cell technologies, at least in short-term observations. Despite frequently voiced concerns about the solubility of the lead salts that make up the absorber material, several life cycle analyses have come to overall positive conclusions regarding the environmental impact of perovskite solar cell (PSC) production. Their particularly short energy payback time (EBPT) in comparison to other established PV technologies makes them truly competitive. Several studies have identified valuable components such as FTO, gold and high temperature processes as the most significant contributors to the environmental impact of PSCs. Considering these findings, we have developed a rapid dismantling process allowing the recovery of all major components, saving raw materials, energy and production time in the fabrication of recycled PSCs. We demonstrate that the performance of PSCs fabricated from recycled substrates can compete with that of devices fabricated from virgin materials.