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Nanoparticles for Photovoltaic and LED Devices and Methods of Making the Same

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Perovskite photovoltaics are a new class of light absorbers with exceptional and unparalleled progress in solar power performance. A perovskite is any material with a specific ABX3 crystal structure. In photovoltaic applications, the A cation can be either organic, inorganic, or hybrid in composition. The B component is typically a metal cation such as lead, and X is a halide such as iodine or bromine. Work on solar cells using perovskite materials has advanced rapidly as a result of the material’s excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities, and lifetimes – resulting in high device efficiencies with low-cost, industry-scalable technology. While the potential for perovskite photovoltaic devices is high, commercialization will require overcoming other challenges relating to material stability, efficiency, and environmental compatibility.


NREL researchers have fabricated photovoltaic cells with quantum dots made of inorganic CsPbI3 perovskite materials. This method of fabricating CsPbI3 quantum dot perovskites involves adding Cs-oleate to a flask containing PbI2 precursor to result in quantum dots solubilized by nanocrystalline iodide and olelyammonium surface ligands. These quantum dots are then purified with methyl acetate to remove excess unreacted precursors to produce CsPbI3 quantum dot perovskites. The resulting CsPbI3 quantum dot perovskites have an efficiency level of 10.77% and have demonstrated, through current-voltage (I-V) curve results, an improved JSC and VOC after 15 days of operation in ambient conditions. In addition, these CsPbI3 quantum dot perovskites function as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and emit visible red light with low turn-on voltage and tunable emission.

Please see NREL’s news release and the 2016 Science article, Quantum dot-induced phase stabilization of a-CsPbI3 perovskite for high-efficiency photovoltaics for additional information. In addition, this technology is within the Film Stability and Film Chemistry categories of NREL’s perovskite portfolio. For further information regarding NREL's broader perovskite portfolio, please visit NREL's Perovskite Patent Portfolio website.

The Film Stability category comprises technologies that improve perovskite devices’ resistance to environmental factors that degrade device performance over time. These technologies include methods of depositing perovskite films, encapsulant coatings, and novel film chemistries.

The Film Chemistry category consists of alternative film chemistries to the common methylammonium lead halide (CH3NH3PbI3) perovskite devices. These alternative film compositions have been shown to improve performance of perovskite films, including increased stability and efficiency, and to enable perovskite use in alternative mediums such as quantum dots.

  • Improved JSC and VOC after 15 days of operation in ambient conditions
  • 10.77% conversion efficiency
  • Function as LEDs with tunable emission
Applications and Industries
  • Perovskites
  • Quantum Dots
  • Photovoltaics
More Information

For further information on the status of the provisional patent application, please contact Bill Hadley.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Application 20170342316
The present disclosure relates to a composition that includes a particle and a surface species, where the particle has a characteristic length between greater than zero nm and 100 nm inclusively, and the surface species is associated with a surface of the particle such that the particle maintains a crystalline form when the composition is at a temperature between C. and C.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory 05/31/2017
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
NREL ROI 16-81PrototypeAvailable01/26/201701/26/2017

Contact NREL About This Technology

To: Bill Hadley<>