On-Device Lead Sequestration for Perovskite Solar Cells

Kai Zhu, Fei Zhang, Joseph Berry, Xun Li, Haiying He, Tao Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

296 Scopus Citations


Perovskite solar cells, as an emerging high-efficiency and low-cost photovoltaic technology1–6, face obstacles on their way towards commercialization. Substantial improvements have been made to device stability7–10, but potential issues with lead toxicity and leaching from devices remain relatively unexplored11–16. The potential for lead leakage could be perceived as an environmental and public health risk when using perovskite solar cells in building-integrated photovoltaics17–23. Here we present a chemical approach for on-device sequestration of more than 96 per cent of lead leakage caused by severe device damage. A coating of lead-absorbing material is applied to the front and back sides of the device stack. On the glass side of the front transparent conducting electrode, we use a transparent lead-absorbing molecular film containing phosphonic acid groups that bind strongly to lead. On the back (metal) electrode side, we place a polymer film blended with lead-chelating agents between the metal electrode and a standard photovoltaic packing film. The lead-absorbing films on both sides swell to absorb the lead, rather than dissolve, when subjected to water soaking, thus retaining structural integrity for easy collection of lead after damage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)555-558
Number of pages4
Issue number7796
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-75297


  • perovskite solar cells
  • sequestration


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