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Late News: Lead-Free Perovskite-Inspired Semiconductors for Indoor Photovoltaics
Vincenzo Pecunia1,Robert Hoye2,Yueheng Peng1,Tahmida Huq3,Jianjun Mei1,Luis Portilla1,Robert Jagt3,Judith MacManus-Driscoll3
Soochow University1,Imperial College London2,University of Cambridge3
Lead-free perovskite-inspired materials (PIMs) are receiving ever-growing attention in photovoltaics, optoelectronics, and beyond, due to their similarity to mainstream lead-based perovskites while being free of the toxicity concerns associated with the latter.[1–3] Specifically, antimony- and bismuth-based PIMs have been identified as particularly promising. Nonetheless, the efficiencies of such PIMs in single-junction outdoor solar photovoltaics are yet to approach the levels of the lead-based counterparts. An important limiting factor lies in the bandgaps of these materials, which are in the region of 1.9 eV or greater, thereby preventing the optimal absorption of solar light for single-junction operation.
Going beyond the mainstream view of solely considering lead-free PIMs for outdoor solar photovoltaics, herein we show that these materials have considerable potential for indoor photovoltaics (IPV), a rapidly growing sector in energy harvesting for smart devices of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. With a focus on two representative lead-free PIMs with high photoconversion efficiencies, Cs3Sb2ClxI9-x and BiOI, we show that their IPV efficiencies are up to ~5%, i.e., four times higher than under outdoor solar illumination and already within the performance range of mainstream commercial IPV based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). Further, based on power-dependent measurements and optical loss analyses, we provide insight into the current performance bottlenecks and identify strategies for future improvements toward the ultimate IPV efficiencies of these materials. Finally, by combining millimeter-scale Cs3Sb2ClxI9-x and BiOI IPV devices with ultralow-power printed electronics, we present the first-ever demonstration of printed thin-film-transistor electronics powered by IPV. By revealing the capability and potential of lead-free PIMs for indoor photovoltaics, our findings point to the opportunity provided by such environmentally-friendly semiconductors to sustainably power the growing IoT ecosystem.
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