Perovskite solar cells have made tremendous progress using laboratory-scale spin-coating methods in the past few years owing to advances in controls of perovskite film deposition. However, devices made via scalable methods are still lagging behind state-of-the-art spin-coated devices because of the complicated nature of perovskite crystallization from a precursor state. Here we demonstrate a chlorine-containing methylammonium lead iodide precursor formulation along with solvent tuning to enable a wide precursor-processing window (up to 8 min) and a rapid grain growth rate (as short as 1 min). Coupled with antisolvent extraction, this precursor ink delivers high-quality perovskite films with large-scale uniformity. The ink can be used by both spin-coating and blade-coating methods with indistinguishable film morphology and device performance. Using a blade-coated absorber, devices with 0.12-cm2 and 1.2-cm2 areas yield average efficiencies of 18.55% and 17.33%, respectively. We further demonstrate a 12.6-cm2 four-cell module (88% geometric fill factor) with 13.3% stabilized active-area efficiency output.

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The work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is supported by the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308. We acknowledge the support by the hybrid perovskite solar cell program of the National Center for Photovoltaics funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office. We thank S. Mauger for help with XRF and viscosity measurement.

Author information


  1. Chemistry and Nanoscience Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 80401, USA

    • Mengjin Yang
    • , Zhen Li
    • , Obadiah G. Reid
    • , Dong Hoe Kim
    •  & Kai Zhu
  2. Material Science Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 80401, USA

    • Matthew O. Reese
    • , Sebastian Siol
    • , Talysa R. Klein
    • , Joseph J. Berry
    •  & Maikel F. A. M. van Hest
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA

    • Yanfa Yan


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K.Z. and M.Y. conceived the idea and designed the experiment. M.Y., Z.L., and D.H.K. fabricated and characterized perovskite thin film and devices. M.Y. and M.O.R. optimized large-area devices. M.Y., T.R.K., K.Z., and M.F.A.M.v.H. fabricated and characterized mini-module. M.Y. and S.S. measured XRF. K.Z., J.J.B., and M.F.A.M.v.H. supervised this project. K.Z. and M.Y. wrote the manuscript with inputs and discussion from all authors.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Maikel F. A. M. van Hest or Kai Zhu.

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