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Efficient perovskite solar cells via improved carrier management

Abstract

Metal halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are an emerging photovoltaic technology with the potential to disrupt the mature silicon solar cell market. Great improvements in device performance over the past few years, thanks to the development of fabrication protocols1,2,3, chemical compositions4,5 and phase stabilization methods6,7,8,9,10, have made PSCs one of the most efficient and low-cost solution-processable photovoltaic technologies. However, the light-harvesting performance of these devices is still limited by excessive charge carrier recombination. Despite much effort, the performance of the best-performing PSCs is capped by relatively low fill factors and high open-circuit voltage deficits (the radiative open-circuit voltage limit minus the high open-circuit voltage)11. Improvements in charge carrier management, which is closely tied to the fill factor and the open-circuit voltage, thus provide a path towards increasing the device performance of PSCs, and reaching their theoretical efficiency limit12. Here we report a holistic approach to improving the performance of PSCs through enhanced charge carrier management. First, we develop an electron transport layer with an ideal film coverage, thickness and composition by tuning the chemical bath deposition of tin dioxide (SnO2). Second, we decouple the passivation strategy between the bulk and the interface, leading to improved properties, while minimizing the bandgap penalty. In forward bias, our devices exhibit an electroluminescence external quantum efficiency of up to 17.2 per cent and an electroluminescence energy conversion efficiency of up to 21.6 per cent. As solar cells, they achieve a certified power conversion efficiency of 25.2 per cent, corresponding to 80.5 per cent of the thermodynamic limit of its bandgap.

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Fig. 1: Synthesis and characterization of tin oxide film on FTO.
Fig. 2: Solar cell performance of PSCs based on various SnO2 ETLs.
Fig. 3: Characterization of perovskite thin films varying the mole per cent of MAPbBr3 added.
Fig. 4: Device result for best-performing PSCs with 0.8 mol% MAPbBr3.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.

Code availability

The LabView codes used in this work are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

J.J.Y. was funded by the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology (ISN) grant W911NF-13-D-0001 and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant NNX16AM70H. Y.L. and M.G.B. were funded by Eni SpA through the MIT Energy Initiative. M.R.C. was funded by the Agency for Science Technology and Research, Singapore. V.B. was funded by Tata Trusts. T.G.P. and F.R. were funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2019R1A2C3003504) and a National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST) grant from the Korean government (MSIT) (grant number CAP-18-05-KAERI). G.S., S.S.S., C.S.M., N.J.J. and J.S. were supported by a grant from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), South Korea (KS2022-10); the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade Industry & Energy (MOTIE) of South Korea (grant number 20183010014470); by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) of South Korea (NRF-2016M3A6A7945503) and by a grant from the NST from the Korean government (MSIT) (grant number CAP-18-05-KAERI). We thank S.-M. Bang, G. Kim, K. Kim, J. Kim and J. Park for discussions and assistance with the experiments. We thank KARA (KAIST Analysis center for Research Advancement) for their assistance with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy measurements and analysis.

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J.J.Y., G.S. and S.S.S. conceived and designed the experiment. G.S. and S.S.S. conducted the synthesis and the analysis of the SnO2 film along with J.-P.C.-B. J.J.Y. and Y.L. performed the characterization of the perovskite films. J.J.Y., G.S. and S.S.S. conducted the fabrication of perovskite solar cells and their certification. Y.-K.K. conducted the TEM analysis. M.R.C. conducted the electroluminescence measurements with supervision from V.B. C.S.M. conducted the transient photovoltage and transient photocurrent measurements. T.G.P. performed the optical pump−terahertz probe measurements with supervision from F.R. J.J.Y. and G.S. wrote the first draft of the manuscript and all authors contributed feedback and comments. N.J.J. synthesized materials for perovskite film. S.S.S., M.G.B. and J.S. directed and supervised the research.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Seong Sik Shin, Moungi G. Bawendi or Jangwon Seo.

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Yoo, J.J., Seo, G., Chua, M.R. et al. Efficient perovskite solar cells via improved carrier management. Nature 590, 587–593 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03285-w

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