Thad Druffle - Photonic Annealing of Perovskite Thin Films

Session 13: Emerging Capabilities

Photonic Annealing of Perovskite Thin Films
Thursday, February 15, 2018
9:25 AM - 9:45 AM

The performance of the perovskite material in solar cells has garnered a fair amount of interest because it is solution processable and thus a prime target for roll-to-roll coating. Although the annealing of the material post deposition is typically done at low temperatures, it still requires a long residence time. Moving to a radiative annealing method over a large area could significantly reduce the time required. In this talk we will present our research with the photonic annealing using intense pulsed light of the perovskite thin films for applications in solar cells. The perovskite films absorb the white light and release this energy as heat annealing the material. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis shows that the films achieve consistent morphology and crystallinity and perform well in solar cell devices. The annealing event occurs at very high temperatures, but only for a fraction of a second. The speed of the process as well as the area of processing make this an ideal candidate for roll-to-roll techniques. Adoption into of the photonic process with high speed processing also requires formulation designs that can assist with deposition and annealing. Results of several chemistry precursors will be presented along with future plans towards full incorporation into roll-to-roll manufacturing.

Speaker's Biography

Dr. Thad Druffel is currently the Theme Leader for Solar Manufacturing R&D at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville. His current research is focused on developing materials and processes for roll-to-roll manufacture of devices for renewable energy. Through this work he has mentored post-doctoral, graduate, undergraduate and high school researchers that has resulted in several publications, patent applications, presentations, collaborations and funding. He is the founder of Bert Thin Films, LLC, which is pursuing commercialization of some of the research being conducted at the Conn Center. He served on the technical advisory board at Svaya Nanotechnology, founded by a former student developing products based on large area deposition of nanoparticles. Prior to this he was vice President of Applied Research and Development at Optical Dynamics Nanotechnology, leading a research and development group in the area of optical nanocomposite thin films. This research led to several successful commercialized products including equipment, processes and chemistry. Experienced as the principal investigator in grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and State of Kentucky as well as industry-sponsored research. Background includes research and development topics in both Mechanical and Chemical Engineering and has been involved in projects ranging from solar and water facilities in Africa to corporate research and development of cutting edge technologies. Collaborators include researchers from the University of Louisville as well as regional Kentucky and international universities and industrial partners. He has been very involved in several outreach projects including participating in organizing professional workshops, presenting research results at conferences and acting as a mentor for student led projects. He continues to be involved in volunteer activities especially in the area of entrepreneurial opportunities in the water/energy nexus in developing economies. He developed and instructs a class in Engineering Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. He is a Professional Engineer in Kentucky (Mechanical Engineering lic #22550).


Thad Druffle
Theme Leader Solar Manufacturing R&D
University of Louisville