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Symposium EN03-Sustainability of Emerging Photovoltaics

The proposed symposium will address one of the few major remaining challenges in solar energy: improving the sustainability of emerging photovoltaics. Silicon solar cells, the market leader, face challenges when it comes to recycling solar panels. These challenges are due to design constraints and material properties which support a long life of use, their sustainable feature. Emerging, printable photovoltaics, including perovskite and organic solar cells, feature auspicious properties that include materials and design elements that facilitate the separation of solar cells and modules, and enable circular remanufacturing and recycling at currently impossible levels. Material properties and design concepts for improved sustainability of solar cells and solar panels are at the core of this suggested symposium.

The first part of the symposium will focus on concepts that enable circular strategies in emerging photovoltaic applications. Here, we will focus on material and solvent combinations that facilitate the separability of the different materials used in the solar cell stack. Using materials with complementary solubility allows a reversible design in which solar cells can be assembled and disassembled using similar procedures. Challenges in this topic include the integration of concepts to facilitate cell and module disassembly.

The second part of the symposium specifically concentrates on lead in high-efficiency perovskite solar cells. All perovskite solar cells with the perspective for market introduction today contain lead in a bio-available form. Lead is potentially hazardous and has caused distrust and conflicts with legislation in some regions. To avoid potential lead contamination, material solutions are required to prevent lead leakage in broken modules. Additionally, strategies are needed to recover lead from end-of-life modules completely.

The third part of the symposium addresses material recovery after degradation. Emerging materials in solar panels degrade during operation. Degrading can be caused, among other things, by phase changes or impurities. When recovered, materials need to be re-purified for circular usage. This is always possible, yet the amount of energy, new material, and capital required for the process may make using freshly mined or produced materials preferable. Material solutions are needed that make material recovery simple and cheap.

The fourth and final part of the symposium concerns itself with the integration of materials to extend the lifetime and operation of emerging photovoltaic technologies. Such concepts include strategies for material recovery or self-healing processes. These concepts are especially needed for emerging materials that do not have the same intrinsic stability as established materials like Si or CdTe.

Topics will include:

  • Energy Conversion and Storage, and Sustainability
  • Recycling procedures for emerging PV
  • Lead recovery and prevention of lead contamination in perovskite soalr cells
  • Self-healing processes in emerging PV
  • Restoring material quality after degradation
  • Synthesis of sustainable materials

Invited Speakers (tentative):

  • Tonio Buonassisi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Heather Mirletz (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)
  • Dario Pasini (Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy)
  • Kai Zhu (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Ian Marius Peters
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena
Georgia Institute of Technology

Vida Engmann
University of Southern Denmark
Mads Clausen Institute, Center for Advanced Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Energy Devices (CAPE)
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Yi Hou
National University of Singapore
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature

Symposium Support