Correlation of energy disorder and open-circuit voltage in hybrid perovskite solar cells


Organometal trihalide perovskites have been demonstrated as excellent light absorbers for high-efficiency photovoltaic applications. Previous approaches to increasing the solar cell efficiency have focused on optimization of the grain morphology of perovskite thin films. Here, we show that the structural order of the electron transport layers also has a significant impact on solar cell performance. We demonstrate that the power conversion efficiency of CH3NH3PbI3 planar heterojunction photovoltaic cells increases from 17.1 to 19.4% when the energy disorder in the fullerene electron transport layer is reduced by a simple solvent annealing process. The increase in efficiency is the result of the enhancement in open-circuit voltage from 1.04 to 1.13 V without sacrificing the short-circuit current and fill factor. These results shed light on the origin of open-circuit voltage in perovskite solar cells, and provide a path to further increase their efficiency.

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Figure 1: Device structure and mechanism to enhance VOC by reducing energy disorder.
Figure 2: PCBM treatment-dependent device performance.
Figure 3: Structure and energy disorder of PCBM films under different treatments.
Figure 4: Dependence of charge recombination lifetime on PCBM treatment.
Figure 5: Dependence of device performance on PCBM thickness.


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The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation (DMR-1505535), the Department of Energy (DE-EE0006709) and the Office of Naval Research (N00014-15-1-2713).

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J.H. and Y.S. conceived the idea, designed the experiments and wrote the paper. Y.Y. conducted the X-ray diffraction measurements and Y.S. carried out all other experiments. J.H. supervised the project.

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Correspondence to Jinsong Huang.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Shao, Y., Yuan, Y. & Huang, J. Correlation of energy disorder and open-circuit voltage in hybrid perovskite solar cells. Nat Energy 1, 15001 (2016).

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