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In a recent article published in Nature Energy, researchers in the Jinsong Huang Group used fluid dynamics to fabricate more efficient perovskite solar panels. Organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites are low cost and earth abundant semiconductor materials for converting solar energy into electricity by photovoltaic effect.

The efficiencies of perovskite solar cells fabricated in lab are already comparable or even higher than traditional solar cells. However, one outstanding challenge before the commercialization of perovskite solar cells is how to transfer lab-scale technologies into marketplace using scalable and high throughput film deposition techniques for module fabrication.

Depositing uniform perovskite layer over large area substrates is difficult due to the complex fluid dynamics of the ink during drying. Huang and his colleagues show that very small amounts (tens of parts per million) of insulating surfactants dramatically alter the fluid drying dynamics and increase the adhesion of the perovskite ink to the underlying non-wetting charge transport layer. Based on this strategy, they fabricated the most efficiency perovskite solar modules using a scalable coating fabrication process.