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Canon to Produce Coating Materials for Perovskite Solar Cells

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TOKYO, June 19, 2024 — Canon has reported the development of a high-performance semiconductor material that it expects will improve the durability and mass-production stability of perovskite solar cells. The company will begin shipping samples this month and expects to begin mass production next year. Canon aims to continue development of the material and plans to collaborate with companies engaged in mass production of perovskite solar cells.

While perovskite solar cells offer advantages over silicon-based cells in terms of weight, flexibility, and the ability to generate electricity from indoor lighting, their commercialization has been hindered by issues with stability, as well as challenges in manufacturing cells with a large surface area. The crystal structure of the perovskite layer, which facilitates photoelectric conversion, is susceptible to damage by water, heat, oxygen, and other atmospheric factors, which leads to low durability.

To address this, Canon developed a functional material to coat the perovskite layer by applying the material technology it cultivated through the development of photosensitive members, a component of multifunctional office devices and laser printers.
Perovskite solar cells (left) could achieve mass production by adding a coating developed by Canon to their structure (right). The coating is expected to protect against degradation due to environmental factors such as water and heat, which has historically hindered the adoption of perovskite-based solar cells. Courtesy of Canon.
Perovskite solar cells (left) could achieve mass production by adding a coating developed by Canon to their structure (right). The coating is expected to protect against degradation due to environmental factors such as water and heat, which has historically hindered the adoption of perovskite-based solar cells. Courtesy of Canon. 


The material provides a thick coating over the perovskite layer while maintaining a high rate of photoelectric conversion efficiency, which has been difficult to achieve with conventional materials, Canon said. The material can be coated at a thickness of 100 to 200 nm, compared to conventional coating layers which provide a thickness of just tens of nanometers.

Through joint research with Tsutomu Miyasaka, inventor of the perovskite solar cell and professor at Toin University of Yokohama, the company conducted a performance evaluation which verified the material’s potential to improve the durability of perovskite solar cells. Miyasaka expects that by adding a layer of the material, problems with mass production can be solved.

A paper co-authored by researchers at Toin University of Yokohama and Canon was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A (www.doi.org/10.1039/D4TA02491E).

Published: June 2024
Glossary
thin film
A thin layer of a substance deposited on an insulating base in a vacuum by a microelectronic process. Thin films are most commonly used for antireflection, achromatic beamsplitters, color filters, narrow passband filters, semitransparent mirrors, heat control filters, high reflectivity mirrors, polarizers and reflection filters.
semiconductor
A semiconductor is a type of material that has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator. In other words, semiconductors have properties that are intermediate between metals (good conductors of electricity) and insulators (poor conductors of electricity). The conductivity of a semiconductor can be controlled and modified by factors such as temperature, impurities, or an applied electric field. The most common semiconductors are crystalline solids, and they are...
perovskite
The term perovskite refers to a specific crystal structure commonly found in various materials. Perovskite structures have a cubic arrangement of oxygen ions, forming a framework within which other cations (positively charged ions) are located. This crystal structure was named after the mineral perovskite, which has the chemical formula CaTiO3 and was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The general formula for the perovskite structure is ABX3, where: A represents a larger...
Businesssolarsolar cellsMaterialscoatingthin filmsemiconductorlayerperovskitecommercializationstabilitydurabilityCanonToin University of YokohamaTsutomu MiyasakaAsia-PacificJournal of Materials Chemistry A

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