Efficient tandem solar cells with solution-processed perovskite on textured crystalline silicon

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Science  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6482, pp. 1135-1140
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz3691

Growing perovskite on textured silicon

Wide–band gap perovskites could boost the efficiency of silicon solar cells by forming tandem cells, but usually the perovskite must be grown on a smoothed side of the silicon cell because the material grown on the rough light-trapping side often does not fully coat the silicon surface and its rough texture is prone to phase separation. Hou et al. grew thick films of a perovskite with a band gap of ∼1.68 electron volts and used a passivant, 1-butanethiol, to limit its phase separation. The tandem cells had a certified power conversion efficiency of 25.7% and had negligible losses after 400 hours of operation.

Science, this issue p. 1135


Stacking solar cells with decreasing band gaps to form tandems presents the possibility of overcoming the single-junction Shockley-Queisser limit in photovoltaics. The rapid development of solution-processed perovskites has brought perovskite single-junction efficiencies >20%. However, this process has yet to enable monolithic integration with industry-relevant textured crystalline silicon solar cells. We report tandems that combine solution-processed micrometer-thick perovskite top cells with fully textured silicon heterojunction bottom cells. To overcome the charge-collection challenges in micrometer-thick perovskites, we enhanced threefold the depletion width at the bases of silicon pyramids. Moreover, by anchoring a self-limiting passivant (1-butanethiol) on the perovskite surfaces, we enhanced the diffusion length and further suppressed phase segregation. These combined enhancements enabled an independently certified power conversion efficiency of 25.7% for perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. These devices exhibited negligible performance loss after a 400-hour thermal stability test at 85°C and also after 400 hours under maximum power point tracking at 40°C.

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