Smart photovoltaic windows represent a promising green technology featuring tunable transparency and electrical power generation under external stimuli to control the light transmission and manage the solar energy. Here, we demonstrate a thermochromic solar cell for smart photovoltaic window applications utilizing the structural phase transitions in inorganic halide perovskite caesium lead iodide/bromide. The solar cells undergo thermally-driven, moisture-mediated reversible transitions between a transparent non-perovskite phase (81.7% visible transparency) with low power output and a deeply coloured perovskite phase (35.4% visible transparency) with high power output. The inorganic perovskites exhibit tunable colours and transparencies, a peak device efficiency above 7%, and a phase transition temperature as low as 105 °C. We demonstrate excellent device stability over repeated phase transition cycles without colour fade or performance degradation. The photovoltaic windows showing both photoactivity and thermochromic features represent key stepping-stones for integration with buildings, automobiles, information displays, and potentially many other technologies.
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This work is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231 (PChem KC3103). The GIWAX data were collected at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under contract no. DE-AC02-76SF00515. The XPS data was collected at the Advanced Light Source, with help from E.J. Crumlin, Q.Kong and H.Zhang, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The RED data was collected at the Berzelii Center EXSELENT on Porous Materials, the Swedish Research Council (Grant no. 2012-4681). J.L. acknowledges the fellowship support from Shanghai University of Electric Power. M.L. and C.X. acknowledges the fellowship support from Suzhou Industrial Park. C.S.K. acknowledges support by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. H.C. acknowledges the postdoctoral scholarship support from the Wallenberg Foundation through the MAX IV synchrotron radiation facility program. D.L. thanks the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for funding, Award EP-14-151. S.A.H. acknowledges the support from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Postdoctoral Research Award under the EERE Solar Energy Technologies Office administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (DE-AC05-06OR23100). We thank M.F. Toney for discussions on the GIWAX data, Y. Wang for the work on the supplementary videos, and J. Kanady for proofreading the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Lin, J., Lai, M., Dou, L. et al. Thermochromic halide perovskite solar cells. Nature Mater 17, 261–267 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-017-0006-0
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