Hazard potential of perovskite solar cell technology for potential implementation of “safe-by-design” approach

Su Yong Bae, Su Young Lee, Ji wan Kim, Ha Nee Umh, Jaeseong Jeong, Seongjun Bae, Jongheop Yi, Younghun Kim, Jinhee Choi

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The perovskite solar cell (PSC) is a rapidly advancing solar technology with high efficiencies and low production costs. However, as the PSC contains methylammonium lead iodide (CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3 , MAPbI 3 ) in the light-harvesting active layer, addressing the safety issue of PSCs is an important prerequisite for its commercialization. In this study, the potential hazards of the PSC were investigated with consideration of Pb species released from PSC using an ecotoxicity, cytotoxicity, chronic toxicity, and genotoxicity battery assay. PSC and its degradation products can cause significant toxicity, with PSC being more toxic than the individual degradation products. The order of ecotoxicity and cytotoxicity was found to be Pb 2+ > PSC > PbI 2 = PbO. Aquatic toxicity of PSC and its degradation products was suggested by Daphnia magna acute, chronic, and genotoxicity results. The current study highlights the non-negligible hazard potentialities of the PSC and its degradation products, as evidenced by our ecotoxicity and cytotoxicity battery assay. Our study indicates that great caution should be taken in the mass production of PSCs and could facilitate proper risk assessment. Based on our study, some considerations on the implementation of the “safe-by-design (SbD)” approach for the sustainable development of PSC technology can be formulated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4242
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

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