25.05.2020

Speeding up solar cell development

A detail from the new 16-channel parallel characterisation system. Credit: Adam Surmiak, Xiongfeng Lin

Tests on new designs for perovskite solar cells can now be conducted in minutes instead of days, thanks to a new system built by PhD candidate Mr Adam Surmiak from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (Exciton Science) and his colleagues based at Monash University.

The invention means that the performance and commercial potential of new compounds can be rapidly evaluated, significantly speeding up the development process. The machine, known as a “16-channel parallel characterisation system”, can analyse sample perovskite-based solar cells in just 10 to 15 minutes.

Essential to the system’s operation is a series of 3D-printed components that were fabricated with micrometre precision at the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, part of the Australian National Fabrication Facility’s Victorian Node.

Alongside the development and set-up of this new testing facility, Mr Surmiak and the team were also able to significantly speed up the actual solar cell fabrication process.

The head of the Monash University lab in which Surmiak works, Professor Udo Bach, a chief investigator with Exciton Science, described the invention as world-leading. “Our new set-up has the capacity to test thousands of solar cells in one single day, putting us ahead of practically all other R&D labs worldwide,” Professor Bach said.

Read the full story on the Exciton website.

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