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Bromine based perovskites developed with HUJI for next gen solar cells

31 January, 2017

ICL Innovation, in collaboration with Dr. Lioz Etgar from The Institute of Chemistry, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel developed a unique perovskite material for use in next generation photovoltaic cells. Perovskites are viewed today in both academic circles and the industry as the next-generation materials for solar cells. They offer superior cost/performance ratio compared with silicon and are rapidly developing as a viable industrial alternative. ICL Innovation in-licensed this breakthrough technology from Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

ICL's interest in perovskites stems from its bromine business. ICL is the largest producer of bromine worldwide with a range of downstream brominated product. Unlike the common iodide based perovskites, the bromide based ones offer specific advantages.

Dr. Etgar's work yields photovoltaic cells with a record power conversion efficiency, high open circuit voltage and high stability. The high voltage is especially important when considering coupling the cells to a battery. Stability is perovskites’ greatest challenge, and the use of bromine greatly addresses this concern.

The technological achievement includes the solar cell structure which removes the need for a hole transport material, the preparation method and the discovery of a quasi two-dimensional perovskite structure which was shown to dramatically increase the cell's efficiency. An extension of the core technology is currently being evaluated in a tandem architecture with a perovskite layer conjugated to a silicon layer, bringing the entire cell to record high efficiency levels.

Although still in early stages, this research demonstrates ICL's commitment to breakthrough technologies, in particular those utilizing ICL's materials.

Yaacov Michlin, President and CEO of Yissum: “We are very pleased to collaborate with a market leader in the field of bromine, such as ICL and believe that they are the perfect partner to take this unique technology, that offers significantly improved efficacy to solar cells, forward toward a product on the market.” 

Dr. Lioz Etgar, The Institute of Chemistry, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem “This technology shows the potential of quasi 2D perovskite to function efficiently in a solar cell generating high voltage and high efficiency at the same time. It presents one of the big advantageous of the hybrid perovskite in photovoltaic cells.