Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

A solvent- and vacuum-free route to large-area perovskite films for efficient solar modules



Recent advances in the use of organic–inorganic hybrid perovskites for optoelectronics have been rapid, with reported power conversion efficiencies of up to 22 per cent for perovskite solar cells1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Improvements in stability have also enabled testing over a timescale of thousands of hours10,11,12,13,14. However, large-scale deployment of such cells will also require the ability to produce large-area, uniformly high-quality perovskite films. A key challenge is to overcome the substantial reduction in power conversion efficiency when a small device is scaled up: a reduction from over 20 per cent to about 10 per cent is found15,16,17,18,19,20,21 when a common aperture area of about 0.1 square centimetres is increased to more than 25 square centimetres. Here we report a new deposition route for methyl ammonium lead halide perovskite films that does not rely on use of a common solvent1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 or vacuum3: rather, it relies on the rapid conversion of amine complex precursors to perovskite films, followed by a pressure application step. The deposited perovskite films were free of pin-holes and highly uniform. Importantly, the new deposition approach can be performed in air at low temperatures, facilitating fabrication of large-area perovskite devices. We reached a certified power conversion efficiency of 12.1 per cent with an aperture area of 36.1 square centimetres for a mesoporous TiO2-based perovskite solar module architecture.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Amine complex precursors and their characteristics.
Figure 2: Diagram of the pressure processing method for the deposition of perovskite films.
Figure 3: Illustration of the perovskite module and device performance.


  1. Kojima, A., Teshima, K., Shirai, Y. & Miyasaka, T. Organometal halide perovskites as visible-light sensitizers for photovoltaic cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 6050–6051 (2009)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Burschka, J. et al. Sequential deposition as a route to high-performance perovskite-sensitized solar cells. Nature 499, 316–319 (2013)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Liu, M., Johnston, M. B. & Snaith, H. J. Efficient planar heterojunction perovskite solar cells by vapour deposition. Nature 501, 395–398 (2013)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Jeon, N. J. et al. Solvent engineering for high-performance inorganic–organic hybrid perovskite solar cells. Nat. Mater. 13, 897–903 (2014)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Li, X. et al. A vacuum flash-assisted solution process for high-efficiency large-area perovskite solar cells. Science 353, 58–62 (2016)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Zhou, H. et al. Interface engineering of highly efficient perovskite solar cells. Science 345, 542–546 (2014)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Jeon, N. J. et al. Compositional engineering of perovskite materials for high-performance solar cells. Nature 517, 476–480 (2015)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Yang, W. S. et al. High-performance photovoltaic perovskite layers fabricated through intramolecular exchange. Science 348, 1234–1237 (2015)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bi, D. et al. Polymer-templated nucleation and crystal growth of perovskite films for solar cells with efficiency greater than 21%. Nat. Energy 1, 16142 (2016)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Mei, A. Y. et al. A hole-conductor-free, fully printable mesoscopic perovskite solar cell with high stability. Science 345, 295–298 (2014)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Saliba, M. et al. Incorporation of rubidium cations into perovskite solar cells improves photovoltaic performance. Science 354, 206–209 (2016)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Li, X. et al. Improved performance and stability of perovskite solar cells by crystal crosslinking with alkylphosphonic acid omega-ammonium chlorides. Nat. Chem. 7, 703–711 (2015)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Bella, F. et al. Improving efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells with photocurable fluoropolymers. Science 354, 203–206 (2016)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Bi, E. et al. Diffusion engineering of ions and charge carriers for stable efficient perovskite solar cells. Nat. Commun. 8, 15330 (2017)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Chen, W. et al. Efficient and stable large-area perovskite solar cells with inorganic charge extraction layers. Science 350, 944–948 (2015)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Matteocci, F. et al. Solid-state solar modules based on mesoscopic organometal halide perovskite: a route towards the up-scaling process. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 16, 3918–3923 (2014)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Gardner, K. L. et al. Nonhazardous solvent systems for processing perovskite photovoltaics. Adv. Energy Mater. 6, 1600386 (2016)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Qiu, W. et al. Pinhole-free perovskite films for efficient solar modules. Energy Environ. Sci. 9, 484–489 (2016)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Matteocci, F. et al. High efficiency photovoltaic module based on mesoscopic organometal halide perovskite. Prog. Photovolt. Res. Appl. 24, 436–445 (2016)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Razza, S. et al. Perovskite solar cells and large area modules (100 cm2) based on an air flow-assisted PbI2 blade coating deposition process. J. Power Sources 277, 286–291 (2015)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Hu, Y. et al. Stable large-area (10 × 10 cm2) printable mesoscopic perovskite module exceeding 10% efficiency. Sol. RRL 1, 1600019 (2017)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Patel, J. B., Milot, R. L., Wright, A. D., Herz, L. M. & Johnston, M. B. Formation dynamics of CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite following two-step layer deposition. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 96–102 (2016)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Liao, L. F., Wu, W. C., Chuang, C. C. & Lin, J. L. FTIR study of adsorption and reactions of methylamine on powdered TiO2 . J. Phys. Chem. B 105, 5928–5934 (2001)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Nunney, T. S., Birtill, J. J. & Raval, R. Infrared studies of sub-monolayer methylamine and trimethylamine adsorption on Ni(111). Surf. Sci. 427–428, 282–287 (1999)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Rosales, B. A. et al. Persistent dopants and phase segregation in organolead mixed-halide perovskites. Chem. Mater. 28, 6848–6859 (2016)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Xing, G. et al. Long-range balanced electron- and hole-transport lengths in organic-inorganic CH3NH3PbI3 . Science 342, 344–347 (2013)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Zhou, Z. et al. Methylamine-gas-induced defect-healing behavior of CH3NH3PbI3 thin films for perovskite solar cells. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 9705–9709 (2015)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Ye, F. et al. Soft-cover deposition of scaling-up uniform perovskite thin films for high cost-performance solar cells. Energy Environ. Sci. 9, 2295–2301 (2016)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Xiao, Z. et al. Solvent annealing of perovskite-induced crystal growth for photovoltaic-device efficiency enhancement. Adv. Mater. 26, 6503–6509 (2014)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Green, M. A. et al. Solar cell efficiency tables (version 49). Prog. Photovolt. Res. Appl. 25, 3–13 (2017)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos 11574199 and 11674219), the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning, Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (17ZR1414800). We thank B. Dai from Instrumental Analysis Center of SJTU and G. Lu from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry for NMR measurements, and Y. Wu for discussions. M.G. thanks the European Research Council (ERC) for support of this work under a Proof of Concept project associated with his Mesolight Advanced Research Grant (ARF).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



L.H. and X.Y. designed and directed the study. H.C., F.Y. and W.T. conceived and performed the main experimental work. J.H., M.Y., Y.W., F.X. and E.B. contributed to the characterization. X.Y., H.C., F.Y. and W.T. analysed the data. X.Y., M.G. and L.H. wrote the manuscript. All authors reviewed the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Xudong Yang or Liyuan Han.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Additional information

Publisher's note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Extended data figures and tables

Extended Data Figure 1 The appearance of CH3NH3mCH3NH2, PbX2·nCH3NH2 and the mixture of CH3NH3I·3CH3NH2 and PbI2·CH3NH2.

Vial diameter, 10 mm.

Extended Data Figure 2 NMR spectra of CH3NH3I and PbI2 individually and with interaction with CH3NH2.

Top, 1H NMR of CH3NH3I with and without CH3NH2, and bottom, 207Pb NMR of PbI2 and with or without CH3NH2, in different mixtures or in solution in DMSO.

Extended Data Figure 3 FTIR spectra of CH3NH3X, CH3NH3mCH3NH2 and PbX2·nCH3NH2 (X = Br, Cl). Here m ≈ 3, n ≈ 1.

Extended Data Figure 4 The effect of pressure on the thickness and the light absorbance of perovskite films.

a, The light absorbance spectra of perovskite films deposited at different pressures; the light absorption at 600 nm was chosen to calculate the film thickness. b, The light absorbance at 600 nm (red symbols and axis) and the film thickness (blue symbols and axis) as a function of pressure.

Extended Data Figure 5 Illustration of perovskite films deposited by the present pressure-assisted processing method and by the spin-coating method.

In both cases, 200 μl of precursor solution was used on a 64 cm2 substrate.

Extended Data Figure 6 The ultraviolet–visible light absorption spectra of 16 pieces of 2 cm × 2 cm perovskite films.

The films were made by cutting an 8 cm × 8 cm film into 16 pieces: the spectra of each piece was recorded individually. The perovskite film was deposited via the present pressure processing method.

Extended Data Figure 7 IPCE spectrum.

The IPCE (incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency) spectrum of a solar cell with a perovskite film deposited by the present pressure processing method (see Methods for details).

Extended Data Figure 8 Statistics of the device performance.

Shown are the efficiency of devices with different aperture area (a), precursor amount (b), pressure (c), temperature (d), and peeling speed (e). The measurement was carried out under AM 1.5G simulated solar light, 100 mW cm−2. All devices were made using the present pressure-processing method. 10 devices were measured for statistical analysis in each case. In the boxplots, the star represents the maximum and minimum values; the open square represents the mean value.

Extended Data Figure 9 Evolution of the photovoltaic stability of an encapsulated perovskite solar module fabricated by the present pressure-processing method.

The module (36.1 cm2) was aged under a 10 mW cm−2 UV-filtered simulated sunlight at 45 °C in ambient air and maintained at the maximum power point. The energy conversion efficiency was measured under simulated AM 1.5 solar light, 100 mW cm−2 intensity. The module retained 90% of the initial performance after 500 h.

Extended Data Figure 10 The performance of a perovskite solar module certified by a public test centre.

Red line, current–voltage curve; green line, power–voltage curve. ISC is the current value at short circuit condition; VOC is the voltage at open circuit condition; Pmax is the maximum power; Vpmax is the voltage at the point of Pmax; Ipmax is the current at the point of Pmax; F.F. is the fill factor; Eff(da) is the efficiency calculated with a light power that is defined by a designated aperture; DTemp. is the designed temperature; MTemp. is the measured temperature; DIrr. is the designed irradiation intensity; MIrr. is the measured irradiation intensity.

PowerPoint slides

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chen, H., Ye, F., Tang, W. et al. A solvent- and vacuum-free route to large-area perovskite films for efficient solar modules. Nature 550, 92–95 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing