"Perovskite solar cells based on organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite absorbers have revolutionized solar research worldwide with the steepest ever increase in power conversion efficiency from 3.8% in 2009 to 22.1% as of March 2016. UK is already leading the world in PSCs research and development with the Oxford PV (a spin out company from Oxford University) aiming to bring the PSCs into market by 2017. Almost all of the studies reported on PSCs are based on only rigid (glass) or flexible (polymer or metal) substrates. For a wide range of promising applications ranging from integration on robotics, prosthetic to curved surfaces - it is important to have both flexibility and stretchability - i.e 'elastic' solar cells. Electronic materials and methods of manufacturing that produces flexible, stretchable, collapsible, and fracture-proof sources of power would revolutionize costumer electronics, bio-medical devices and robotics. Indoor light harvesting has recently attracted great attention because of unprecedented development of Internet of Things (IoT) which promises a future where a wide variety of consumer electronics, household amenities, bio-medical appliances as well as robotics could be integrated with and controlled via wireless communication systems and hence demand off-grid power sources. However, research focusing on indoor applications of PSCs is still in its infancy. In the light of these issues, the project proposed aims to develop highly efficient mechanically resilient elastic PSCs for indoor applications.
The proposed research will extend and complement the UK's existing strengths by adding additional dimension of 'stretchability' giving rise to a next generation of PSCs. The project proposed tackles the challenge of developing and manufacturing highly efficient elastic perovskite solar cells. The present project addresses this issue by developing materials and methods of manufacturing which, when combined, will produce elastic components for highly efficient elastic devices. The proposed research along with addressing these challenges, will have a wider impact on indoor photovoltaics by energy conservation at low light conditions and revolutionizing integration of perovskite photovoltaics to robotics. Elastic PSCs will revolutionize and widen the application base of solar cells integrated with moving parts and curvilinear surfaces with potential applications in intelligent prosthetic, prosthetic skin, smart textiles, consumer electronics, and biomedical devices. The techniques and materials developed during the project will not be limited to PSCs, but will have wider applicability to manufacturing of elastic solar cells and elastic electronics in general. The proposed project has the potential to emulate yet another revolution in the elastic electronics and photovoltaics industry and trigger transformation in various sectors including indoor photovoltics, robotics, stretchable and wearable electronics."