The MESO Concept

There has been a very high level of research interest in organic and hybrid materials systems that can be used for thin-film solar cells. This is driven by both the economic importance of reducing the cost of solar cells if they are to play a major role in renewable energy and also because the device architectures and the semiconductor processes can be very different from those in conventional inorganic semiconductors. Solar cell efficiencies have increased considerably over recent years with values reported of above 10%. Nonetheless, translation of ‘best performance’ to scaleable, manufacturable technology remains a major challenge and there is enormous scope to explore new options. The MESO project is based on a timely and important discovery of a new class of materials based on solution-processed perovskites, which initially showed excellent performance delivering over 10% efficiency in single-junction solar cells, and more recently this has increased to over 15%.

The project brings together the leading research groups and industry in Europe investigating, developing and commercialising solid-state hybrid solar cells. The ambitious “concept” of the project is to take the perovskite based meso-superstructured solar cell from its first introduction to commercial launch within a 3 year timeframe. This will be achieved by developing new, ideally optimised materials which deliver improved performance and stability; to optimise the processing and integration of these materials into manufacturable high efficiency devices and modules; to understand the fundamental processes occurring in the materials and operational solar cells to give a rational approach to the design and implementation of new materials.