News Release

Mixed-cation perovskite solar cells in space

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Science China Press

Representative Schematic

image: This is a representative schematic of the high-altitude balloon in near space (perovskite solar cells were fixed on the control platform). view more 

Credit: ©Science China Press

With the continuous improvement of efficiency and stability, perovskite solar cells are gradually approaching practical applications. PSCs may show the special application in space where oxygen and moisture (two major stressors for the stability) barely exist. Publishing in Sci. China-Phys. Mech. Astron., a group of researchers at Peking University in China, led by Dr. Rui Zhu and Prof. Qihuang Gong in collaboration with Prof. Guoning Xu from Academy of Opto-Electronics, CAS, and Prof. Wei Huang from Northwestern Polytechnical University, have reported the stability study of PSCs in near space.

The metal halide perovskite materials demonstrate outstanding performance in photovoltaics because of their excellent optoelectronic properties. PSCs exhibiting outstanding efficiency, high power-per-weight, and excellent radiation resistance are considered to be promising for developing the new-generation energy technology for space application. However, the extreme space environment would impose a considerable challenge to the stability of devices, while the application of PSCs in space has rarely been researched.

Researchers demonstrated the attempt for the stability study of large-area perovskite solar cells (active area of 1.00 cm2) in near space. The devices were fixed on the high-altitude balloon rising from ground to near space at an altitude of 35 km in Inner Mongolian Area, China. The near space atmosphere at 35 km contains trace amount of both moisture and ozone, resulting in AM0 solar spectrum with the light intensity of 136.7 mW/cm2. This atmosphere also contains several high-energy particles and radiation (such as neutrons, electrons, and gamma rays), originating from the galactic cosmic rays and solar flares. The devices were fabricated as TiO2 mesoporous structure based on two commonly reported mixed-cation perovskites, FA0.9Cs0.1PbI3, and FA0.81MA0.10Cs0.04PbI2.55Br0.40. Moreover, different kinds of perovskite photoactive absorbers with and without UV filter were investigated. As a result, the device based on FA0.81MA0.10Cs0.04PbI2.55Br0.40 retained 95.19% of its initial power conversion efficiency during the test under AM0 illumination.

Researchers anticipate that this study will play very crucial roles in the future stability research of perovskite solar cells. This work also opens the route for perovskite solar cells in future space application. Dr. Rui Zhu and his colleagues are continuing to push the practical application of perovskite solar cells in space.


This research was funded by the 973 Program of China (Grant No. 2015CB932203), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61722501, and 61377025), the Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 4164106), the Scientific Experimental System in Near Space of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA17000000), and the General Financial Grant from the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2017M620519).

See the article:

Y. G. Tu, G. N. Xu, X. Y. Yang, Y. F. Zhang, Z. J. Li, R. Su, D. Y. Luo, W. Q. Yang, Y. Miao, R. Cai, L. H. Jiang, X. W. Du, Y. C. Yang, Q. S. Liu, Y. Gao, S. Zhao, W. Huang, Q. H. Gong, and R. Zhu, Mixed-cation perovskite solar cells in space, Sci. China-Phys. Mech. Astron. 62, 974221 (2019),

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