Spherical hydroxyapatite nanoparticle scaffolds for reduced lead release from damaged perovskite solar cells

Muhamad Z. Mokhtar, Amal Altujjar, Bing Wang, Qian Chen, Jack Chun Ren Ke, Rongsheng Cai, Nourdine Zibouche, Ben F. Spencer, Janet Jacobs, Andrew G. Thomas, David Hall, Sarah J. Haigh, David J. Lewis, Richard Curry, M. Saiful Islam, Brian R. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Perovskite solar cells continue to attract interest due to their facile preparation and high power conversion efficiencies. However, the highest efficiency perovskite solar cells inevitably contain lead, which raises concerns over contamination of drinking water when a solar module is broken and then flooded. We previously showed that conventional synthetic hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanoparticles could capture some of the lead from broken solar cells, but the amount of lead released was well above the safe drinking water level. Here, we modify the HAP synthesis to prepare new spherical-HAP (s-HAP) nanoparticles with a 60% increase in the Pb absorption capacity. We blend s-HAPs with TiO2 nanoparticles to construct mixed scaffolds and investigate their effect on (FAPbI3)0.97(MAPbBr3)0.03 solar cell performance and lead capture. Replacement of 80% of the TiO2 nanoparticles with s-HAP causes the power conversion efficiency to increase from 18.61% to 20.32% as a result of decreased charge carrier recombination. Lead contamination of water from devices subjected to simulated hail damage followed by flooding is shown to decrease exponentially with increasing s-HAP content. The lead concentration in water after 24 h is below the US safe water drinking limit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalCommunications Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the EPSRC for funding (EP/R020590/1). This work including TEM access was supported by the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, funded through EPSRC grants EP/R00661X/1, EP/S019367/1, EP/P025021/1 and EP/P025498/1. S.J.H. acknowledges the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant ERC-2016-STG-EvoluTEM-715502). R.C. and S.J.H. would like to thank the UK Catalysis Hub for resources and support provided via the membership of the UK Catalysis Hub Consortium and funded by EPSRC grant: EP/R027129/1. We gratefully acknowledge supercomputer resources via the MCC/Archer HPC consortium (EP/R029431/1).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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