Towards stable and commercially available perovskite solar cells



Solar cells employing a halide perovskite with an organic cation now show power conversion efficiency of up to 22%. However, these cells are facing issues towards commercialization, such as the need to achieve long-term stability and the development of a manufacturing method for the reproducible fabrication of high-performance devices. Here, we propose a strategy to obtain stable and commercially viable perovskite solar cells. A reproducible manufacturing method is suggested, as well as routes to manage grain boundaries and interfacial charge transport. Electroluminescence is regarded as a metric to gauge theoretical efficiency. We highlight how optimizing the design of device architectures is important not only for achieving high efficiency but also for hysteresis-free and stable performance. We argue that reliable device characterization is needed to ensure the advance of this technology towards practical applications. We believe that perovskite-based devices can be competitive with silicon solar modules, and discuss issues related to the safe management of toxic material.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Perovskite films obtained with different synthesis methods.
Figure 2: Photocarrier generation and collection.
Figure 3: Carrier extraction and recombination in perovskite materials.
Figure 4: Asymptotic IV characterization curves.
Figure 5: Amount of lead contained in a perovskite PV module and in natural soil.


  1. 1

    Miyasaka, T. Perovskite photovoltaics: rare functions of organo lead halide in solar cells and optoelectronic devices. Chem. Lett. 44, 720–729 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    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).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Im, J.-H., Lee, C.-R., Lee, J.-W., Park, S.-W. & Park, N.-G. 6.5% efficient perovskite quantum-dot-sensitized solar cell. Nanoscale 3, 4088–4093 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Kim, H.-S. et al. Lead iodide perovskite sensitized all-solid-state submicron thin film mesoscopic solar cell with efficiency exceeding 9%. Sci. Rep. 2, 591 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Lee, M. M., Teuscher, J., Miyasaka, T., Murakami, T. N. & Snaith, H. J. Efficient hybrid solar cells based on meso-superstructured organometal halide perovskites. Science 338, 643–647 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Best research-cell efficiencies NREL (2016);

  7. 7

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Xiao, M. et al. A fast deposition-crystallization procedure for highly efficient lead iodide perovskite thin-film solar cells. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 9898–9903 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Ahn, N. et al. Highly reproducible perovskite solar cells with average efficiency of 18.3% and best efficiency of 19.7% fabricated via Lewis base adduct of lead(ii) iodide. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137, 8696–8699 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Lee, J. W., Kim, H. S. & Park, N. G. Lewis acid–base adduct approach for high efficiency perovskite solar cells. Acc. Chem. Res. 49, 311–319 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Long, R., Liu, J. & Prezhdo, O. V. Unravelling the effects of grain boundary and chemical doping on electron–hole recombination in CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite by time-domain atomistic simulation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 3884–3890 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    deQuilettes, D. W. et al. Impact of microstructure on local carrier lifetime in perovskite solar cells. Science 8, 683–686 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Shao, Y. et al. Grain boundary dominated ion migration in polycrystalline organic–inorganic halide perovskite films. Energy Environ. Sci. 9, 1752–1759 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Son, D.-Y. et al. Self-formed grain boundary healing layer for highly efficient CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cells. Nat. Energy 1, 16081 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Grätzel, M. Light and shade of perovskite solar cells. Nat. Mater. 13, 838–842 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Green, M. A., Emery, K., Hishikawa, Y., Warta, W. & Dunlo, E. D. Solar efficiency tables (version 47). Prog. Photovolt. Res. Appl. 24, 3–11 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Noel, N. K. et al. Lead-free organic–inorganic tin halide perovskites for photovoltaic applications. Energy Environ. Sci. 7, 3061–3068 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Kumar, M. H. et al. Lead-free halide perovskite solar cells with high photocurrents realized through vacancy modulation. Adv. Mat. 26, 7122–7127 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Correa Baena, J. P. et al. Highly efficient planar perovskite solar cells through band alignment engineering. Energy Environ. Sci. 8, 2928–2934 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Bi, D. et al. Efficient luminescent solar cells based on tailored mixed-cation perovskites. Sci. Adv. 2, e1501170 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Tress, W. et al. Predicting the open-circuit voltage of CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cells using electroluminescence and photovoltaic quantum efficiency spectra: the role of radiative and non-radiative recombination. Adv. Energy Mat. 5, 1400812 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Ross, R. T. Some thermodynamics of photochemical systems. J. Chem. Phys. 46, 4590 (1967).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Kirchartz, T. et al. Reciprocity between electroluminescence and quantum efficiency used for the characterization of silicon solar cells. Prog. Photovolt. Res. Appl. 17, 394–402 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Zhao, Y. & Zhu, K. Organic–inorganic hybrid lead halide perovskites for optoelectronic and electronic applications. Chem. Soc. Rev. 45, 655–689 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Shao Y. et al. Origin and elimination of photocurrent hysteresis by fullerene passivation in CH3NH3PbI3 planar heterojunction solar cells. Nat. Commun. 5, 5784 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    De Bastiani, M. et al. Ion migration and the role of preconditioning cycles in the stabilization of the JV characteristics of inverted hybrid perovskite solar cells. Adv. Energy Mater. 6, 1501453 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Ihly, R. et al. Efficient charge extraction and slow recombination in organic–inorganic perovskites capped with semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes. Energy Environ. Sci. 9, 1439–1449 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Schulz, P. et al. Charge transfer dynamics between carbon nanotubes and hybrid organic metal halide perovskite films. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 418–425 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Sanehira, E. M. et al. The influence of electrode interfaces on the stability of perovskite solar cells: reduced degradation using MoOx / Al for hole collection. ACS Energy Lett. 1, 38–45 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    Li, X. et al. Outdoor performance and stability under elevated temperatures and long-term light soaking of triple-layer mesoporous perovskite photovoltaics. Energy Tech. 3, 551–555 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35

    Qin, C., Matsushima, T., Fujihara, T, Potscavage, W. J. Jr & Adachi, C. Degradation mechanisms of solution-processed planar perovskite solar cells: thermally stimulated current measurement for analysis of carrier traps. Adv. Mater. 28, 466–471 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36

    Berhe, T. A. et al. Organometal halide perovskite solar cells: degradation and stability. Energy Environ. Sci. 9, 323–356 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37

    Lee, J.-W. et al. Formamidinium and cesium hybridization for photo- and moisture-stable perovskite solar cell. Adv. Energy Mater. 5, 1501310 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38

    Unger, E. L. et al. Hysteresis and transient behavior in current–voltage measurements of hybrid-perovskite absorber solar cells. Energy Environ. Sci. 7, 3690–3698 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39

    Tress, W. et al. Understanding the rate-dependent JV hysteresis, slow time component, and aging in CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cells: the role of a compensated electric field. Energy Environ. Sci. 8, 995–1004 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40

    A solar checklist. Nat. Photon. 9, 703 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  41. 41

    Snaith, H. The perils of solar cell efficiency measurements. Nat. Photon. 6, 337–340 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42

    Reporting standards. Nat. Nanotech. 10, 909 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  43. 43

    Emery, K. A. et al. Methods for measuring solar cell efficiency independent of reference cell or light source. In Proc. 18th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 623–628 (IEEE, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Snaith, H. How should you measure your excitonic solar cells? Energy Environ. Sci. 12, 6513–6520 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45

    Long, Y.-S., Hsu, S.-T. & Wu, T.-C. Induction of internal capacitance effect in performance measurement of OPV (organic photovoltaic) device by RTOSM (real-time one-sweep method). J. Energy Power Eng. 8, 1059–1066 (2014).

    Google Scholar 

  46. 46

    Babayigit, A., Ethirajan, A., Muller, M. & Conings, B. Toxicity of organometal halide perovskite solar cells. Nat. Mater. 15, 247–251 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47

    Hailegnaw, B., Kirmayer, S., Edri, E., Hodes, G. & Cahen. D . Rain on methylammonium lead iodide based perovskites: possible environmental effects of perovskite solar cells. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6, 1543–1547(2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48

    Wuana, R. A. & Okieimen, F. E. Heavy metals in contaminated soils: a review of sources, chemistry, risks and best available strategies for remediation. ISRN Ecol. 2011, 402647 (2011).

    Google Scholar 

  49. 49

    Sutherland, B. R. & Sargent, E. H. Perovskite photonic sources. Nat. Photon. 10, 295–302 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50

    Yakunin, S. et al. Detection of X-ray photons by solution-processed lead halide perovskites. Nat. Photon. 9, 444–450 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51

    Choi, J. et al. Organolead halide perovskites for low operating voltage multilevel resistive switching. Adv. Mater. 28, 6562–6567 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


N.-G.P. acknowledges financial supports from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) of Korea under contracts No. NRF-2012M3A6A7054861 (Global Frontier R&D Program on Center for Multiscale Energy System), NRF-2015M1A2A2053004 (Climate Change Management Program), and NRF-2012M3A7B4049986 (Nano Material Technology Development Program). T.M. thanks Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Advanced Low Carbon Technology R&D Program (ALCA) and NEDO research projects. The NREL portion of this work was supported by the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC36-08-GO28308 with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. K.Z. acknowledges support by the hybrid perovskite solar cell program by the US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office. M.G. acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the NRP 70 ‘Energy Turnaround’ as well as from SNF-NanoTera and Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SYNERGY). He thanks the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) for financial support under a joint research project. He also thanks G. Rothenberger for his help with the kinetic analysis and the drawings presented in Fig. 2. M.G. acknowledges his affiliation as a visiting faculty member with Nanyang Technical University (NTU) Singapore and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) Seoul Korea.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nam-Gyu Park.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Park, NG., Grätzel, M., Miyasaka, T. et al. Towards stable and commercially available perovskite solar cells. Nat Energy 1, 16152 (2016).

Download citation

Further reading


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