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Molecular Adhesion and Patterned Absorber Layers for Switchable Photovoltaics

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Perovskite halides (e.g. CH3NH3PbI3 or MAPbI3) are a new class of light absorbers with exceptional and unparalleled progress in solar cell performance. A perovskite is any material with a specific ABX3 crystal structure, wherein an organic based cation is A, a metal cation is B, and a divalent halide anion is X. Work on solar cells using these perovskite materials has advanced rapidly as a result of the material’s excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities, and lifetimes that result in high device efficiency with low-cost, industry-scalable technology. However, this potential for low cost and scalability requires overcoming barriers hindering the commercialization of perovskite devices related to perovskite stability, efficiency, and environmental compatibility. NREL researchers have made significant technical contributions within six areas critical to developing commercialized perovskite devices, which include increases in film efficiency and stability and innovations in perovskite film deposition methods, film chemistry, hole and electron extraction layer engineering, and device architecture.


Researchers at NREL have developed a molecular layer that improves perovskite stability. On one side of the device an ionic bond is formed with a perovskite lattice and on the other side a covalent bond is formed with the layer beneath it. The addition of this molecular layer prevents optically bleached layers from migrating from their originally deposited position, as is often seen in current designs of switchable window devices. The perovskite layer can also be patterned to allow for expansion and contraction of the film, enabling devices with more neutral colors and patterns such as stripes.

This technology is within the Device Architecture group of NREL’s perovskite portfolio. For further information regarding NREL's broader perovskite portfolio, please visit NREL's Perovskite Patent Portfolio website.

The Perovskite Device Architecture category comprises new perovskite solar cell device designs, such as interdigitated back-contact perovskite solar cell devices, that capitalize on the unique properties of the perovskite layer to create low-cost devices with improved efficiency and reliability.

  • Enables more stable, durable switchable perovskite devices
  • Enables greater control over aesthetics
Applications and Industries
  • Smart windows
  • Switchable perovskite devices
  • Commercial and residential buildings
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
NREL ROI 18-23PrototypeAvailable04/27/201803/28/2018

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To: Bill Hadley<>