Comprehensive Performance Calibration Guidance for Perovskites and Other Emerging Solar Cells

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Emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies (e.g., organic, perovskite, and solution processed quantum dot) have attracted remarkable attention with the rapid growth of their efficiencies, and their transition toward commercialization. Accurate and reliable efficiency measurements of these PV technologies are crucial, yet much more complicated than for conventional PV technologies due to the former's pronounced dynamic responses to changes in measurement conditions (e.g., current–voltage (I–V) scan rate and preconditioning) and their susceptibility to degradation. Adjustments to the measurement procedures are therefore necessary so that a reproducible “steady state” is reached during measurement. Furthermore, given the small size of many emerging cells, inappropriate device area definition and solar simulator setup can lead to measurement errors. Here, comprehensive efficiency calibration guidance is offered for emerging solar cells, including area measurement; spectral irradiance translation to standard test conditions; and steady-state electrical performance. The necessity of reporting steady-state efficiency is justified with a statistical performance comparison between conventional and steady-state I–V scans over hundreds of cells the group has received globally for efficiency certifications. The procedures described here do not require specialized measurement instrumentation; what matters most are changes to the measurement protocols. These described changes aim to enable better comparisons between reported efficiencies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number2100728
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH. The publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this article, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes only.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79820


  • efficiency calibration
  • organics
  • perovskites
  • quantum dots
  • quantum efficiency
  • solar cells


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