Defect passivation in hybrid perovskite solar cells using quaternary ammonium halide anions and cations


The ionic defects at the surfaces and grain boundaries of organic–inorganic halide perovskite films are detrimental to both the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells. Here, we show that quaternary ammonium halides can effectively passivate ionic defects in several different types of hybrid perovskite with their negative- and positive-charged components. The efficient defect passivation reduces the charge trap density and elongates the carrier recombination lifetime, which is supported by density-function-theory calculation. The defect passivation reduces the open-circuit-voltage deficit of the p–i–n-structured device to 0.39 V, and boosts the efficiency to a certified value of 20.59 ± 0.45%. Moreover, the defect healing also significantly enhances the stability of films in ambient conditions. Our findings provide an avenue for defect passivation to further improve both the efficiency and stability of solar cells.

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Figure 1: Device structure and passivation mechanism by quaternary ammonium halides.
Figure 2: Passivation-layer-dependent device performance.
Figure 3: Passivation mechanism.
Figure 4: Stability assessment of perovskite solar cells with different passivation layers.


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This work was supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) (Grant No. A9550-16-1-0299) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Nebraska Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) (Grant No. DMR-1420645), and by the NSF Grant OIA-1538893.

Author information




J.H. and X.Z. conceived the idea and designed the experiments. X.Z. fabricated most of the devices and conducted the characterization. B.C. fabricated the wide-bandgap solar cells. J.D. and X.C.Z. conducted the simulation modelling. Y.B. and H.W. synthesized the relevant chemicals. Y.F. performed the physical characterizations of the devices. J.H., X.Z., J.D. and Y.L. wrote the paper, and all authors reviewed the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jinsong Huang.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zheng, X., Chen, B., Dai, J. et al. Defect passivation in hybrid perovskite solar cells using quaternary ammonium halide anions and cations. Nat Energy 2, 17102 (2017).

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