Examination Committee:

Prof. Omer Van der Biest
Prof. Jef Poortmans (supervisor)
Prof. Johan Driesen
Prof. Jan Genoe
Prof. Ward De Ceuninck
Dr. Uli Wurfel
Dr. Ulrich Paetzold



Aula Arenbergkasteel
Kasteelpark Arenberg 1
3001 Heverlee


Sustainable development requires transformation of both building and transport sectors and increased integration of decentralized electricity generation, such as solar photovoltaic technology. To allow for easier and faster integration of photovoltaics in building and transport sectors, photovoltaic technology should offer cost-effective, light weight and flexible modules that offer design freedom. Design freedom is reflected in variation in size, shape, transparency and color. Thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) technology can satisfy these requirements. It currently takes up 5 % of the PV market. However, up to now it has been limited by power conversion efficiencies lower than the silicon-based photovoltaics, which are dominating the market. 

In the past decade, new type of TFPV has been developing, namely perovskite-based TFPV.  While this material is still in research phase, it has shown significant improvements in performance over a short period of time. Currently, efficiencies comparable to silicon-based devices have been achieved. For perovskite-based TFPV to be commercially ready, research has to give an answer to challenges including long term stability and cost-effective upscaling of the technology. Furthermore, since perovskite TFPV material is 40 times thinner than human hair, this technology promises the possibility to fabricate light weight, flexible, semi-transparent devices with good performance and at low cost. Therefore, perovskite TFPV could be an ideal candidate for cost-effective integration of photovoltaics in buildings and vehicles. 

The research presented in this thesis aims to find processing strategies needed for upscaling of perovskite modules and allowing for variation in transparency and size/design. Perovskite-based TFPV is a technology that is in the process of finding optimal combination of materials that can be used for long-term cost-effective operation. In this work, we have analyzed and proposed measurement procedure for comparing performance of different perovskite-based TFPV. The measurement procedure can be utilized in laboratory settings for selection of optimal perovskite-based TFPV for further commercialization. In addition, in the presented research we have analyzed processing steps needed for fabrication of large area perovskite modules and determined ways to characterize and minimize losses in performance of these devices. With application of the proposed processing strategies perovskite-based TFPV panels with performance comparable to commercially available technologies are possible. Finally, we show initial steps on how existing fabrication methods and commercially available materials can be used to fabricate perovskite modules that allow variation in design, with backend interconnection processing, and variation in transparency, with application of laser or mechanical patterning methods. In conclusion, this research shows how large area perovskite-based TFPV devices can be processed and successful initial steps towards fabrication of semi-transparent and free-form perovskite-based TFPV modules.  

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