Perovskite solar cells, or PSCs, are currently the most promising solar energy technology. The new collaborative ASPIRE project aims to overcome stability and sustainability issues, which remain major obstacles to the large-scale commercialization of PSCs.
The Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation has granted €997,000 to a Finnish consortium for research on third-generation solar cells. The project titled ‘A novel integrated approach for highly reproducible and stable perovskite solar cells’ (ASPIRE) is coordinated by Åbo Akademi University and involves researchers from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Aalto University.
“PSCs are interesting, because they promise to be cheaper and easier to mass produce than traditional silicon solar cells. They also have the potential to produce much more energy during their lifespan than what is needed to manufacture them,” says Professor of Physics Ronald Österbacka of Åbo Akademi University.
The ASPIRE project is based on a novel fabrication method for scalable solar cells. The method enables an integrated approach to simultaneously clarify the selectivity of the contacts and the crystallization of the perovskite material and to develop new environmentally friendly transport materials.
“We are hoping to pave the way for reproducible, stable and sustainable PSCs. ASPIRE’s achievements will therefore remove the main barriers to the commercialization of PSCs,” says Paola Vivo. She works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory of Chemistry and Bioengineering at TUT.
Paola Vivo has a long-standing research interest in perovskite solar cells. Her previous and ongoing work has been devoted to enhancing their stability. TUT’s role in the ASPIRE project is the design and synthesis of novel PSC components, their advanced photophysics characterization, and the fabrication and characterization of photovoltaic devices by means of the excellent facilities available at TUT.
“This project will bring the current PSCs research at TUT to a higher maturity level and increase its impact. In fact, ASPIRE will allow a deeper and wider investigation of PSC technology, from fundamental understanding to advanced manufacturing of large-area PSCs with high reproducibility and stability, thanks to the collaboration with other key Finnish scientists with complementary expertise,” Vivo says.
“Furthermore, the ASPIRE consortium, driven by a strong synergy between the best national PV experts, will give Finland a unique chance to be placed at the frontline of international research in this extremely competitive area.”
The three-year ASPIRE project will run from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2020.