Lead Sequestration from Halide Perovskite Solar Cells with a Low-Cost Thiol-Containing Encapsulant

Rene D. Mendez L, Barry N. Breen, David Cahen

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12 Scopus citations


Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are being studied and developed because of the outstanding properties of halide perovskites as photovoltaic materials and high conversion efficiencies achieved with the best PSCs. However, leaching out of lead (Pb) ions into the environment presents potential public health risks. We show that thiol-functionalized nanoparticles provide an economic way of minimizing Pb leaching in the case of PSC module damage and subsequent water exposure (at most, ∼2.5% of today's crystal silicon solar panel production cost per square meter). Using commercial materials and methods, we retain ∼90% of Pb without degrading the photovoltaic performance of the cells, compared with nonencapsulated devices, yielding a worst-case scenario of top-soil pollution below natural Pb levels and well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29766-29772
Number of pages7
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number26
StatePublished - 6 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


D.C. thanks Gary Hodes for the idea of using sulfides (at the 2-2015 NSF–BSF workshop). We are grateful to the Israel Ministry of Energy for supporting our participation in the Solar ERAnet PERDRY project. R.D.M.L. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 MSCA Innovative Training Network under Grant Agreement 764787 (MAESTRO) and the EU MAESTRO project.

FundersFunder number
European Union’s Horizon 2020 MSCA
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme764787
European Commission


    • encapsulation
    • leaching
    • lead
    • perovskite
    • sequestration


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