New Colloidal Quantum Dot Photovoltaic Commercialization Technology

Professor Jongmin Choi, Department of Energy Science & Engineering, DGIST.
Credit: DGIST

Successful development of photovoltaic commercialization technology with improved quantum dot efficiency.

  • The cause for efficiency degradation in an actual operating environment has been identified, with proposal of material processing method for improving performance stability
  • Expected to significantly contribute to the further commercialization of next generation quantum dot PV devices

A technology to further accelerate the commercialization of Colloidal Quantum Dot(CQD) Photovoltaic(PV) devices, which are expected to be next-generation photovoltaic devices, has been developed.

Recently, DGIST announced that a research team of Professor Jongmin Choi from the Department of Energy Science & Engineering t and Professor Edward H. Sargent from the University of Toronto has identified the cause of the performance degradation in CQD PV devices and developed a material processing method capable of stabilizing the performance of the devices.

Quantum dots have excellent light absorbance and are capable of absorbing light over a wide range of wavelengths. Hence, they have gained expectation as a key material for the next generation photovoltaic devices. In particular, quantum dots are light, flexible, and involve low processing costs; therefore, they can be replaced by supplementing the drawbacks of silicon solar cells currently in use.

In this regard, several studies on photoelectric conversion efficiency (PCE) have been conducted with the aim of improving the performance of CQD PV devices. However, very few studies have focused on improving the stability of these devices, which is necessary for the commercialization process. In particular, few studies have used the CQD PV device at the Maximum Power Point, which is the actual operating environment of PV devices.

For this purpose, the research team investigated the causes of performance degradation by continuously exposing them to illumination and oxygen for long periods of time, similar to the actual operating conditions, in order to improve the stability required for the actual commercialization stage of CQD PV devices. As a result, it was identified that the iodine ions on the surface of the quantum dot solids were removed via oxidation, resulting in the formation of an oxide layer. This oxide layer resulted in the deformation of the quantum dot structure, thereby decreasing the efficiency of the device.

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