Design and understanding of encapsulated perovskite solar cells to withstand temperature cycling†
The performance of perovskite solar cells has rapidly increased above 22%, and their environmental stability is also progressing. However, the mismatch in thermal expansion coefficients and low fracture energy of layers in perovskite solar cells raise a concern as to whether devices can withstand mechanical stresses from temperature fluctuations. We measured the fracture energy of a perovskite film stack, which was shown to produce 23.6% efficiency when incorporated in a monolithic perovskite-silicon tandem. We found that the fracture energy increased by a factor of two after 250 standardized temperature cycles between −40 °C and 85 °C and a factor of four after laminating an encapsulant on top of the stack. In order to observe how the increased mechanical stability translated from film stacks to device performance and reliability, we carried out a comparative study of perovskite solar cells packaged between glass and two commonly used encapsulants with different elastic moduli. We demonstrated that solar cells encapsulated with a stiffer ionomer, Surlyn, severely decreased in performance with temperature cycling and delaminated. However, the solar cells encapsulated in softer ethylene vinyl acetate withstood temperature cycling and retained over 90% of their initial performance after 200 temperature cycles. This work demonstrates a need for an encapsulant with a low elastic modulus to enable mechanical stability and progress toward 25 year operating lifetime.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2018 Energy and Environmental Science HOT Articles