SALD delivers system for perovskite solar cells
The Dutch technology incubator SALD BV has started the international delivery of equipment for "Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition" (SALD) for perovskite solar cells. Perovskite minerals are considered a new star in the solar cell sky because they are cheap, easy to process and efficient, but stability often leaves much to be desired. An atom-thin coating, as can be achieved with SALD technology, should make the cells significantly more robust. The global market for perovskite solar cells is forecast to be worth over two billion dollars by 2027.
Before the market grows, however, there is still the challenge of bringing the cells from today's laboratory environment to industrial mass production. The SALD systems currently being delivered are used to prepare for this mass production in the roll-to-roll (R2R) process. In this process, a flexible starting material is unrolled, a structure is printed or imprinted and then rolled up again. In combination with SALD technology, it is possible to print nano-thin coatings with specific properties and functions onto the roll. The R2R process is particularly well suited for cost-effective mass production on a large scale.
For a long time, the necessary proportion of lead in perovskites as a solar cell material was problematic because this is prohibited under the EU's RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directives. Although it is possible to replace the lead with tin, tin gradually oxidises, causing the perovskite's crystal structure to be lost. It is precisely this oxidation that is to be prevented by using SALD technology to ensure long-term stability.
Caption: A SALD line in action (photo: SALD BV)