Post Date
Jun 14 2024

Mesogenic Hole Transport Layers and Redox-electrolytes For Stable Hybrid Photovoltaic Devices

Dr. Ammar Ahmed Khan
Qurat ul Ain
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The global energy crisis, particularly relevant to developing nations like Pakistan, demands affordable, scalable, and eco-friendly renewable energy sources. The use of conventional fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, has exacerbated global warming, underscoring the need for cleaner alternatives. Among these, solar-powered devices have emerged as promising solutions. However, the limited adoption of solar cells in underdeveloped nations, including South Asia like Pakistan, raises questions. One potential solution lies in third-generation photovoltaic (PV) cells, offering cost- effectiveness and improved efficiency. Notably, emerging PV technologies like dye- sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have gained attention due to their effectiveness and affordability, despite stability and material toxicity challenges. DSSCs serve as precursors to PSCs. Utilizing mesogenic discotic liquid crystals (DLCs) in DSSCs shows promise in stabilizing quasi-solid-state devices. In our first project, we examine the interaction of various dyes with DLCbased gel electrolytes in DSSCs and also studies the effect of engineering morphology of gel-electrolyte on the DSSCs performance while achieving a 7.6% power conversion efficiency. The second project that will be presented explores perovskite solar cells, poised to rival conventional silicon solar cells in efficiency. By incorporating HAT5-DLC molecules-based hole transport layers, we create moisture-resistant and thermally stable mixed-dimensional (MD) perovskite devices. These devices exhibit impressive stability, even under thermal stress and humidity. In the third project, we focus on high-efficiency mixed-cation three-dimensional perovskite devices, utilizing HAT6-DLCs as transparent hole transport materials. While the efficiency may slightly lag behind reference materials (15.7% vs. 20%), these devices excel in stability under various conditions, making them promising for future high- performance perovskite solar cells. To make these hybrid PV devices ready for industrial use, further research and optimization are essential. This includes exploring dimensional and interfacial engineering techniques and addressing material toxicity concerns.


1. Ain, Q. U., Xia, J., Kanda, H., Rafieh, A. I., Gao, X., Rehman, H. U., Shao, G., Jankauskas, V., Rakstys, K., Khan, A. A., & Nazeeruddin, M. K. (2022). Transparent liquid crystal Hole‐Transporting material for stable perovskite solar cells. Solar RRL, 7(2), 2200920. 

2. Ain, Q. U., Siddique, S., Ali, S., Hasan, A., Khan, M. S., Saleem, M., Rehman, H. U., Ulhaq, A., & Khan, A. A. (2022). Columnar liquid crystals as stability enhancing hole transport layers for Ruddlesden-Popper perovskite optoelectronics. Molecular Systems Design and Engineering. 

3. Ain, Q. U., Iqbal, S., Ali, S., Saleem, M., Rehman, H. U., Ulhaq, A., & Khan, A. A. (2020). Engineering fibre morphology in self-assembled physical gels of a prototypical discotic liquid crystal. Liquid Crystals.