A new article published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials demonstrates that Teledyne CETAC’s SimPrep autodilution system is used as a tool in the research of new solar energy technologies. A team of researchers from Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands sought to gain insight into the lifecycle of lead-containing materials used in new solar cells.
Currently, most solar panels are based on silicon, but successes with newer perovskite solar cells have sparked interest in this material, which has the potential to overcome the limitations of silicon in terms of efficiency and cost. The key to bringing perovskite solar cells (PSCs) to the market is a thorough understanding of their environmental impact in addition to taking the place of other energy sources. PSCs rely on lead salts to stabilize the absorption material. Because lead poses an environmental risk, the researchers aimed to analyze the likely lifecycle of PSCs, from manufacturing to disposal, including what could happen if such cells were damaged during use. The researchers compared lead concentrations in soil and water samples that had been measured over time, so it was of great importance that the preparations were consistent.
The SimPrep was used to dilute the samples with semiconductor-grade nitric acid. Using automation for this task helps eliminate the likelihood of human errors and improves results for more accurate and reproducible data. Through their experiments, the researchers were able to assess the environmental consequences of lead from PSCs, similar to previous risk assessments for environmental lead.
The full article is available in the August 15, 2022 volume of the Journal of Hazardous Materials.