Near-ultraviolet indoor black light-harvesting perovskite solar cells

Valluvar Oli, Arivazhagan and Li, Zinuo and Chen, Yu and Ivaturi, Aruna (2022) Near-ultraviolet indoor black light-harvesting perovskite solar cells. ACS Applied Energy Materials, 5 (12). pp. 14669-14679. ISSN 2574-0962 (

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Indoor light-energy-harvesting solar cells have long-standing history with perovskite solar cells (PSCs) recently emerging as potential candidates with high power conversion efficiencies (PCEs). However, almost all of the reported studies on indoor light-harvesting solar cells utilize white light in the visible wavelength. Low wavelength near-ultraviolet (UV) lights used under indoor environments are not given attention despite their high photon energy. In this study, perovskite solar cells have been investigated for the first time for harvesting energy from a commercially available near-UV (UV-A) indoor LED light (395-400 nm). Also called black lights, these near-UV lights are commonly used for decoration (e.g., in bars, pubs, aquariums, parties, clubs, body art studios, neon lights, and Christmas and Halloween decorations). The optimized perovskite solar cells with the n-i-p architecture using the CH3NH3PbI3 absorber were fabricated and characterized under different illumination intensities of near-UV indoor LEDs. The champion devices delivered a PCE and power output of 20.63% and 775.86 μW/cm2, respectively, when measured under UV illumination of 3.76 mW/cm2. The devices retained 84.10% of their initial PCE when aged under near-UV light for 24 h. The effects of UV exposure on the device performance have been comprehensively characterized. Furthermore, UV-stable solar cells fabricated with a modified electron transport layer retained 95.53% of its initial PCE after 24 h UV exposure. The champion devices delivered enhanced PCE and power output of 26.19% and 991.21 μW/cm2, respectively, when measured under UV illumination of 3.76 mW/cm2. This work opens up a novel direction for energy harvesting from near-UV indoor light sources for applications in microwatt-powered electronics such as internet of things sensors.