Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Article
  • Published:

Flexible quasi-2D perovskite solar cells with high specific power and improved stability for energy-autonomous drones

Abstract

Perovskite solar cells are a promising technology for emerging photovoltaic applications that require mechanical compliance and high specific power. However, the devices suffer from poor operational stability. Here we develop lightweight, thin (<2.5 μm), flexible and transparent-conductive-oxide-free quasi-two-dimensional perovskite solar cells by incorporating alpha-methylbenzyl ammonium iodide into the photoactive perovskite layer. We fabricate the devices directly on an ultrathin polymer foil coated with an alumina barrier layer to ensure environmental and mechanical stability without compromising weight and flexibility. We demonstrate a champion specific power of 44 W g−1 (average: 41 W g1), an open-circuit voltage of 1.15 V and a champion efficiency of 20.1% (average: 18.1%). To show scalability, we fabricate a photovoltaic module consisting of 24 interconnected 1 cm2 solar cells and demonstrate energy-autonomous operation of a hybrid solar-powered quadcopter, while constituting only 1/400 of the drone’s weight. Our performance and stability demonstration of ultra-lightweight perovskite solar cells highlight their potential as portable and cost-effective sustainable energy harvesting devices.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Performance of ultra-lightweight quasi-2D flexible perovskite solar cells.
Fig. 2: Material characterization of the quasi-2D perovskite photoactive layer.
Fig. 3: Performance and stability of MBA2(Cs0.12MA0.88)6Pb7I22 PSCs.
Fig. 4: Design and characterization of the hybrid-power Solar Hopper quadcopter.

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

The authors declare that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the paper and its Supplementary Information files. Should any raw data files be needed in another format, they are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Source data are provided with this paper.

Code availability

Any of the custom code used for recording and evaluating the data is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

References

  1. Cardinaletti, I. et al. Organic and perovskite solar cells for space applications. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 182, 121–127 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Reb, L. K. et al. Space- and post-flight characterizations of perovskite and organic solar cells. Sol. RRL 7, 2300043 (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Xu, Z. et al. In situ performance and stability tests of large-area flexible polymer solar cells in the 35-km stratospheric environment. Natl Sci. Rev. 10, nwac285 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Dahiya, A. S. et al. Review—energy autonomous wearable sensors for smart healthcare: a review. J. Electrochem. Soc. 167, 037516 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hassan, A. A., El Habrouk, M. & Deghedie, S. Renewable energy for robots and robots for renewable energy—a review. Robotica 38, 1576–1604 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bennett, G. L. Space nuclear power: opening the final frontier. In 4th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference 1433–1449 (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2006).

  7. Bange, J., Reuder, J. & Platis, A. in Springer Handbook of Atmospheric Measurements 1331–1349 (Springer, 2021).

  8. Ostfeld, A. E., Gaikwad, A. M., Khan, Y. & Arias, A. C. High-performance flexible energy storage and harvesting system for wearable electronics. Sci. Rep. 6, 26122 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hashemi, S. A., Ramakrishna, S. & Aberle, A. G. Recent progress in flexible-wearable solar cells for self-powered electronic devices. Energy Environ. Sci. 13, 685–743 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Li, B., Hou, B. & Amaratunga, G. A. J. Indoor photovoltaics, the next big trend in solution-processed solar cells. InfoMat 3, 445–459 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kaltenbrunner, M. et al. Flexible high power-per-weight perovskite solar cells with chromium oxide-metal contacts for improved stability in air. Nat. Mater. 14, 1032–1039 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Jung, H. S., Han, G. S., Park, N. G. & Ko, M. J. Flexible perovskite solar cells. Joule 3, 1850–1880 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hu, Y. et al. Flexible perovskite solar cells with high power-per-weight: progress, application, and perspectives. ACS Energy Lett. 6, 2917–2943 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Best Research-Cell Efficiency Chart (NREL, 2023); https://www.nrel.gov/pv/cell-efficiency.html

  15. Kim, M. et al. Conformal quantum dot-SnO2 layers as electron transporters for efficient perovskite solar cells. Science 375, 302–306 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Zhao, X., Liu, T. & Loo, Y. L. Advancing 2D perovskites for efficient and stable solar cells: challenges and opportunities. Adv. Mater. 34, 2105849 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Paek, S. et al. Molecular design and operational stability: toward stable 3D/2D perovskite interlayers. Adv. Sci. 7, 2001014 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Fu, W. et al. High-efficiency quasi-2D perovskite solar cells incorporating 2,2′-biimidazolium cation. Sol. RRL 5, 2000700 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Han, F. & Wang, L. Stable and efficient perovskite solar cell using hydrophobic tris(pentafluorophenyl)phosphine as a hole dopant. IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 781, 3–9 (2021).

    Google Scholar 

  20. Xue, M. et al. Free-standing 2.7-μm thick ultrathin crystalline silicon solar cell with efficiency above 12.0%. Nano Energy 70, 104466 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Yang, G. et al. Stable and low-photovoltage-loss perovskite solar cells by multifunctional passivation. Nat. Photonics 15, 681–689 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Liang, C. et al. Two-dimensional Ruddlesden–Popper layered perovskite solar cells based on phase-pure thin films. Nat. Energy 6, 38–45 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Lehner, L. E. et al. Elucidating the origins of high preferential crystal orientation in quasi-2D perovskite solar cells. Adv. Mater. 35, 2208061 (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Wang, J. et al. Aqueous synthesis of low-dimensional lead halide perovskites for room-temperature circularly polarized light emission and detection. ACS Nano 13, 9473–9481 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Zhou, C. et al. Photoluminescence spectral broadening, chirality transfer and amplification of chiral perovskite materials (R-X-p-mBZA)2PbBr4(X = H, F, Cl, Br) regulated by van der Waals and halogen atoms interactions. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 22, 17299–17305 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Duim, H. & Loi, M. A. Chiral hybrid organic-inorganic metal halides: a route toward direct detection and emission of polarized light. Matter 4, 3835–3851 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Jiang, J. et al. Mixed dimensionality of 2D/3D heterojunctions for improving charge transport and long-term stability in high-efficiency 1.63 eV bandgap perovskite solar cells. Mater. Adv. 3, 5786–5795 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Wang, J. et al. Spin-dependent photovoltaic and photogalvanic responses of optoelectronic devices based on chiral two-dimensional hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites. ACS Nano 15, 588–595 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Zhang, J., Zhang, W., Cheng, H. M. & Silva, S. R. P. Critical review of recent progress of flexible perovskite solar cells. Mater. Today 39, 66–88 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Kim, D.-H. et al. Stretchable and foldable silicon integrated circuits. Science 320, 507–511 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Zhou, J. et al. Ultra-low-cost all-air processed carbon-based perovskite solar cells from bottom electrode to counter electrode. J. Power Sources 478, 228764 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Kang, S. et al. Ultrathin, lightweight and flexible perovskite solar cells with an excellent power-per-weight performance. J. Mater. Chem. A 7, 1107–1114 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Sun, Q. et al. Surface plasmon-assisted transparent conductive electrode for flexible perovskite solar cells. Adv. Opt. Mater. 7, 1900847 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Hu, X. et al. Cementitious grain-boundary passivation for flexible perovskite solar cells with superior environmental stability and mechanical robustness. Sci. Bull. 66, 527–535 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Zhang, J. et al. High-performance ITO-free perovskite solar cells enabled by single-walled carbon nanotube films. Adv. Funct. Mater. 31, 2104396 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Hsieh, C. H., Huang, C. H., Chu, P. L., Chu, S. Y. & Chen, P. Investigation of the mechanism of a facile method for ammonia treatment to effectively tune the morphology and conductivity of PEDOT:PSS films. Org. Electron. 91, 106081 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Jang, J., Ha, J. & Cho, J. Fabrication of water-dispersible polyaniline-poly(4-styrenesulfonate) nanoparticles for inkjet-printed chemical-sensor applications. Adv. Mater. 19, 1772–1775 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Jo, J. W. et al. Improving performance and stability of flexible planar-heterojunction perovskite solar cells using polymeric hole-transport material. Adv. Funct. Mater. 26, 4464–4471 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Zhang, Y. et al. Bilateral interface engineering for efficient and stable perovskite solar cells using phenylethylammonium iodide. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 12, 24827–24836 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Xue, J., Su, Y., Liu, A., Gao, L. & Ma, T. Interfacial modification of multifunctional organic ammonium salt for PEDOT:PSS-based inverted perovskite solar cells. Energy Technol. 11, 2201506 (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Jung, M. H. & Lee, H. Patterning of conducting polymers using charged self-assembled monolayers. Langmuir 24, 9825–9831 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Song, W. et al. Crumple durable ultraflexible organic solar cells with an excellent power-per-weight performance. Adv. Funct. Mater. 31, 2102694 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Zhang, X., Öberg, V. A., Du, J., Liu, J. & Johansson, E. M. J. Extremely lightweight and ultra-flexible infrared light-converting quantum dot solar cells with high power-per-weight output using a solution-processed bending durable silver nanowire-based electrode. Energy Environ. Sci. 11, 354–364 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Chirilǎ, A. et al. Highly efficient Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells grown on flexible polymer films. Nat. Mater. 10, 857–861 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Söderström, T., Haug, F. J., Terrazzoni-Daudrix, V. & Ballif, C. Optimization of amorphous silicon thin film solar cells for flexible photovoltaics. J. Appl. Phys. 103, 114509 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Cardwell, D. et al. Very high specific power ELO solar cells (>3 kW/kg) for UAV, space, and portable power applications. In 2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC) 3511–3513 (IEEE, 2017).

  47. Nazif, K. N. et al. High-specific-power flexible transition metal dichalcogenide solar cells. Nat. Commun. 12, 7034 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Drack, M. et al. An imperceptible plastic electronic wrap. Adv. Mater. 27, 34–40 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Degani, M. et al. 23.7% efficient inverted perovskite solar cells by dual interfacial modification. Sci. Adv. 7, eabj7930 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Du, T. et al. Light-intensity and thickness dependent efficiency of planar perovskite solar cells: charge recombinationversusextraction. J. Mater. Chem. C. 8, 12648–12655 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Niu, G., Yu, H., Li, J., Wang, D. & Wang, L. Controlled orientation of perovskite films through mixed cations toward high performance perovskite solar cells. Nano Energy 27, 87–94 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Tombe, S. et al. Optical and electronic properties of mixed halide (X = I, Cl, Br) methylammonium lead perovskite solar cells. J. Mater. Chem. C. 5, 1714–1723 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Rau, U. Reciprocity relation between photovoltaic quantum efficiency and electroluminescent emission of solar cells. Phys. Rev. B 76, 085303 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Xu, Y., Gong, T. & Munday, J. N. The generalized Shockley–Queisser limit for nanostructured solar cells. Sci. Rep. 5, 13536 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. He, X. et al. 40.1% record low-light solar-cell efficiency by holistic trap-passivation using micrometer-thick perovskite film. Adv. Mater. 33, 2100770 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Khenkin, M. V. et al. Consensus statement for stability assessment and reporting for perovskite photovoltaics based on ISOS procedures. Nat. Energy 5, 35–49 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Hirvikorpi, T. et al. Barrier properties of plastic films coated with an Al2O3 layer by roll-to-toll atomic layer deposition. Thin Solid Films 550, 164–169 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Carcia, P. F., McLean, R. S. & Hegedus, S. Encapsulation of Cu(InGa)Se2 solar cell with Al2O3 thin-film moisture barrier grown by atomic layer deposition. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 94, 2375–2378 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Groner, M. D., George, S. M., McLean, R. S. & Carcia, P. F. Gas diffusion barriers on polymers using Al2O3 atomic layer deposition. Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 051907 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Zhao, L. et al. Influence of bulky organo-ammonium halide additive choice on the flexibility and efficiency of perovskite light-emitting devices. Adv. Funct. Mater. 28, 1802060 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Gutwald, M. et al. Perspectives on intrinsic toughening strategies and passivation of perovskite films with organic additives. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 209, 110433 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Kaltenbrunner, M. et al. Ultrathin and lightweight organic solar cells with high flexibility. Nat. Commun. 3, 770 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Bob Balaram, J. et al. Mars helicopter technology demonstrator. In AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference 2018 (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2018).

  64. Elkunchwar, N., Chandrasekaran, S., Iyer, V. & Fuller, S. B. Toward battery-free flight: duty cycled recharging of small drones. In 2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 5234–5241 (IEEE, 2021).

  65. Lin, C. F. et al. Solar power can substantially prolong maximum achievable airtime of quadcopter drones. Adv. Sci. 7, 2001497 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. El-Atab, N., Khan, S. M. & Hussain, M. M. Flexible high-efficiency corrugated monocrystalline silicon solar cells for application in small unmanned aerial vehicles for payload transportation. Energy Technol. 8, 2000670 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Jafferis, N. T., Helbling, E. F., Karpelson, M. & Wood, R. J. Untethered flight of an insect-sized flapping-wing microscale aerial vehicle. Nature 570, 491–495 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Holness, A. E., Solheim, H., Bruck, H. A. & Gupta, S. K. A design framework for realizing multifunctional wings for flapping wing air vehicles using solar cells. Int. J. Micro Air Veh. https://doi.org/10.1177/1756829319836279 (2019).

  69. Iyer, V., Gaensbauer, H., Daniel, T. L. & Gollakota, S. Wind dispersal of battery-free wireless devices. Nature 603, 427–433 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. El-Atab, N., Mishra, R. B., Alshanbari, R. & Hussain, M. M. Solar powered small unmanned aerial vehicles: a review. Energy Technol. 9, 2170121 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Hailegnaw, B. et al. Inverted (p–i–n) perovskite solar cells using a low temperature processed TiOx interlayer. RSC Adv. 8, 24836–24846 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Dong, Q. et al. Electron-hole diffusion lengths >175 μm in solution-grown CH3NH3PbI3 single crystals. Science 347, 967–970 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Shi, D. et al. Low trap-state density and long carrier diffusion in organolead trihalide perovskite single crystals. Science 347, 519–522 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Schneider, C. A., Rasband, W. S. & Eliceiri, K. W. NIH Image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis. Nat. Methods 9, 671–675 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Lashway, C. R., & Mohammed, O. A. Adaptive battery management and parameter estimation through physics-based modeling and experimental verification. IEEE Trans. Transp. Electrif. 2, 454–464 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Fleischer, C., Waag, W., Bai, Z. & Sauer, D. U. Adaptive on-line state-of-available-power prediction of lithium-ion batteries. J. Power Electron. 13, 516–527 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This project was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101016411 ‘Soft Milli-robots-SOMIRO’ and European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant ‘GEL-SYS’ under grant agreement number 757931 to M.K. Financial support was also provided by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 871130 (Ascent + ), the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) and the LIT Secure and Correct Systems Lab, supported by the State of Upper Austria to A.R. We sincerely thank C. Wolff and M. Othman of the Photovoltaics-Laboratory (PV-Lab) from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for their invaluable assistance in validating our solar cells in their laboratory.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

B.H., S.D., C.P. and M.K. conceptualized the study. B.H., S.D. and C.P. led the experiments and collected the overall data. B.H., S.D., C.P., L.E.L., F.M., M.C., M.C.S., D.Z. and T.M.K. prepared and characterized the perovskite samples. B.H., S.D., C.P. and L.E.L. designed, fabricated and characterized the solar cells and solar module. B.H., S.D., C.P., L.E.L., D.S. and R.P. designed, assembled and characterized the Solar Hopper and performed flight demonstrations. B.H., S.D., C.P., L.E.L. and M.K. co-wrote the manuscript. All authors analysed the data and provided feedback. M.C.S., N.S.S., A.R. and M.K. supervised the research activities.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Martin Kaltenbrunner.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Energy thanks Peter Müller-Buschbaum and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Extended data

Extended Data Fig. 1 Electroluminescence quantum efficiency (ELQE).

a, Normalized electroluminescence (EL) spectra and b, the measured electroluminescence quantum efficiency (ELQE) values at different injection currents. The star indicates solar cell operating conditions, where the injection current equals the short-circuit current density under 1 sun illumination. c-f, Normalized measured (meas) and calculated (calc) EL photon flux and external quantum efficiency (EQE) for c, MAPbI3, d, Cs0.12MA0.88PbI3, e, MBA2MA6Pb7I22, f, MBA2(Cs0.12MA0.88)6Pb7I22 used for the calculation of the radiative limit of the open-circuit voltage \({{\rm{V}}}_{{\rm{OC}}}^{{\rm{rad}}}\) following the procedure described in Supplementary Note 2. The convergence between the measured and calculated EQE and EL curves signifies a robust reciprocal relationship between the two. An Urbach tail fit was applied to the low energy part of the measured EQE below ~10-2 quantum efficiency, resulting in the derived \({{EQE}}_{{\rm{PV}}}^{{\rm{fit}}}\) fit, capturing the exponential decay accurately. The respective Urbach energies as well as calculated open-circuit voltages are indicated in the plot.

Extended Data Fig. 2 Intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy characteristics.

a, Reverse-scanned J-V curves (cell areas 0.1 cm2, grey dashed lines serve as guides to the eye), and IMVS characteristics in b, Nyquist plots of devices based on different perovskite compositions, scanned in the frequency range of 1 MHz to 20 mHz with 10 % light intensity modulation amplitude under 50 mW cm-2 LED light intensity. c, VOC, and d, the charge carrier recombination time constant (τIMVS) as a function of irradiance extracted from IMVS measurements.

Extended Data Fig. 3 Rolling test of ultra-lightweight PSCs.

a, Photos showing successive wrapping of solar cells around a copper rod with a 0.1 mm radius, demonstrating excellent bending flexibility. Scale bar, 1 cm. b, reverse-scanned J-V curves of ultra-lightweight PSCs obtained before and after 100 rolling cycles (cell area 0.1 cm2) with an initial PCE of 16.9 % for Au and 15.6 % for Al top contact (grey dashed lines serve as guides to the eye). Normalized PV properties c, VOC, d, JSC, and e, FF of ultra-lightweight PSCs as a function of rolling cycles. Lines connecting data points are guides to the eye.

Extended Data Fig. 4 Compression tests of ultra-lightweight PSCs.

a, Photograph of custom-built compression and relaxation set-up. Scale bar, 2 cm. The ultra-lightweight PSC coated with polyurethane is attached to a VHB elastomer as shown. The device was attached to the elastomer on the PET side and the top contacts were covered with polyurethane facing up. In our set-up, a single 1-inch solar cell contains 6 individual solar cell pixels that are connected to thin copper wires with conducting silver adhesive. Thick polyimide tape is used as a rigid delimiter, defining an active stretching area of ~ 4 cm width, and 2.5 cm length. b, Images of ultra-lightweight PSCs attached to pre-stretched elastomer under sequential uniaxial compression and relaxation cycles. Scale bar, 1 cm. c, reverse-scanned J-V curves (cell area 0.1 cm2, grey dashed lines serve as guides to the eye) and d-g, normalized device parameters (initial PCE 13.8 %) (VOC, JSC, FF, and PCE, respectively) at 0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 % of compression. h-j, Normalized VOC, JSC, and FF of ultra-lightweight PSCs measured after repeated compression and relaxation cycles to 30 %. The device VOC and FF remain unchanged (100 %), while the JSC exhibits about 8 % loss after 100 compression cycles. Curves drawn on top of data points are guides to the eye.

Extended Data Fig. 5 Solar-rechargeable hybrid-power nano-UAV.

a, Schematics illustration and b, photo of a Solar Hopper quadcopter with an ultra-lightweight solar energy harvesting module unit, battery, and power management integrated circuit (PMIC). c, Weight breakdown of framed, interconnected, and packaged ultra-lightweight PSC. d, Weight breakdown of Solar Hopper drone.

Extended Data Fig. 6 Extended flight of the Solar Hopper with take-off and landing on rough terrain.

The Supplementary Video 2 demonstrates the extended flight of the Solar Hopper for about 45 s. The drone a, takes off from the dry ground and b-e, flies on an arbitrary flight trajectory, f, then successfully lands on a rough and uneven landing place.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Methods, Notes 1–3, Figs. 1–32 and Tables 1–19.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary Video 1

Hopping flight of the quadcopter powered by ultra-lightweight perovskite photovoltaic module. The Solar Hopper quadcopter drone equipped with the ultra-lightweight perovskite photovoltaic module performing a short unidirectional flight between two points on a grassy meadow. The quadcopter successfully covers a distance of about 20 m between its take-off and landing zone on a parabolic flight trajectory. The drone is highlighted by an arrow due to the low resolution of the camera at a distance.

Supplementary Video 2

Extended flight of the Solar Hopper with take-off and landing on rough terrain. Extended flight of the Solar Hopper for about 45 s. The drone takes off from the dry ground and flies on an arbitrary flight trajectory, then successfully lands on a rough and uneven landing place.

Supplementary Video 3

Charging and discharging test of the Solar Hopper. Charging and discharging cycle of the Solar Hopper inside a custom-built benchtop flying cage placed under a solar simulator (1-Sun AM 1.5, Xe lamp) in ambient conditions. Cyclic hovering was performed to estimate the endurance of the energy harvesting module and SOC of the battery. First, the mini-quadcopter battery was fully charged using its ultra-lightweight energy harvesting module. Then, the Solar Hopper battery was discharged by hovering at half throttle for 10 s, which was followed by recharging for 30 min.

Supplementary Data 1

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 4.

Supplementary Data 2

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 5.

Supplementary Data 3

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 6.

Supplementary Data 4

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 7.

Supplementary Data 5

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 8.

Supplementary Data 6

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 9.

Supplementary Data 7

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 10.

Supplementary Data 8

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 11.

Supplementary Data 9

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 14.

Supplementary Data 10

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 17.

Supplementary Data 11

Statistical source data for Supplementary Fig. 18.

Supplementary Data 12

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 2.

Supplementary Data 13

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 3.

Supplementary Data 14

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 4.

Supplementary Data 15

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 7.

Supplementary Data 16

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 10.

Supplementary Data 17

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 12.

Supplementary Data 18

Statistical source data for Supplementary Table 13.

Source data

Source Data Fig. 3

Statistical source data.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hailegnaw, B., Demchyshyn, S., Putz, C. et al. Flexible quasi-2D perovskite solar cells with high specific power and improved stability for energy-autonomous drones. Nat Energy 9, 677–690 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-024-01500-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-024-01500-2

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing