February 21, 2024

Breakthrough Research Leads to World’s Most Efficient Quantum Dot Solar Cells

They have developed the world’s most efficient quantum dot (QD) solar cell, bringing us closer to the commercialization of next-generation solar cells. The QD solution and device developed by the team have demonstrated exceptional performance and retain their efficiency even after long-term storage.

The researchers utilized a novel ligand exchange technique to synthesize organic cation-based perovskite quantum dots (PQDs), ensuring exceptional stability and suppressing internal defects in the photoactive layer of solar cells. The findings of this study, co-authored by Dr. Javid Aqoma Khoiruddin and Sang-Hak Lee, have been published online in Nature Energy.

According to Professor Jang, the developed technology has achieved an impressive 18.1% efficiency in QD solar cells, the highest among quantum dot solar cells recognized by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States.

Quantum dots are nanocrystals with semiconducting properties that can control photoelectric properties based on their particle size. The use of PQDs in solar cells has gained significant attention due to their outstanding photoelectric properties. Additionally, the manufacturing process of PQDs involves simple spraying or application to a solvent, allowing for high-quality production in various manufacturing environments.

However, the practical use of QDs as solar cells requires a technology that reduces the distance between QDs through ligand exchange. Previously, inorganic PQDs were predominantly used as materials for solar cells due to challenges faced by organic PQDs, including defects in their crystals and surfaces during the substitution process. In this study, the research team employed an alkyl ammonium iodide-based ligand exchange strategy, effectively substituting ligands for organic PQDs with excellent solar utilization. This breakthrough led to a significant improvement in the efficiency of organic PQDs from 13% to 18.1%. These solar cells also demonstrate exceptional stability, retaining their performance even after long-term storage for over two years.

Sang-Hak Lee, the first author of the study, highlighted that previous research on QD solar cells predominantly focused on inorganic PQDs. Through this study, the team tackled the challenges associated with organic PQDs, which had proven difficult to utilize. Professor Jang emphasized that this study presents a new direction for the ligand exchange method in organic PQDs, revolutionizing the field of QD solar cell material research.

With this breakthrough, the development of highly efficient and stable QD solar cells brings us closer to the widespread use of solar energy as a renewable and sustainable power source. The research team’s achievement represents a significant step forward in the advancement of solar cell technology and brings us closer to a cleaner and greener future.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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