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.

Perovskite solar cells employing organic charge-transport layers



Thin-film photovoltaics play an important role in the quest for clean renewable energy. Recently, methylammonium lead halide perovskites were identified as promising absorbers for solar cells1. In the three years since, the performance of perovskite-based solar cells has improved rapidly to reach efficiencies as high as 15%1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. To date, all high-efficiency perovskite solar cells reported make use of a (mesoscopic) metal oxide, such as Al2O3, TiO2 or ZrO2, which requires a high-temperature sintering process. Here, we show that methylammonium lead iodide perovskite layers, when sandwiched between two thin organic charge-transporting layers, also lead to solar cells with high power-conversion efficiencies (12%). To ensure a high purity, the perovskite layers were prepared by sublimation in a high-vacuum chamber. This simple planar device structure and the room-temperature deposition processes are suitable for many conducting substrates, including plastic and textiles.

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: Characteristics of the sublimed CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite layer.
Figure 2: Schematics of the device.
Figure 3: Typical JV and IPCE characteristics of the perovskite solar cell.


  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).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Kim, H.-S. et al. High efficiency solid-state sensitized solar cell-based on submicrometer rutile TiO2 nanorod and CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite sensitizer. Nano Lett. 13, 2412–2417 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Heo, J. H. et al. Efficient inorganic–organic hybrid heterojunction solar cells containing perovskite compound and polymeric hole conductors. Nature Photon. 7, 486–491 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ball, J. M., Lee, M. M., Hey, A. & Snaith, H. J. Low-temperature processed meso-superstructured to thin-film perovskite solar cells. Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 1739–1743 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 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).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 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 

  8. Etgar, L. et al. Mesoscopic CH3NH3PbI3/TiO2 heterojunction solar cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 17396–17399 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hodes, G. Perovskite-based solar cells. Science 342, 317–318 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kagan, C. R., Mitzi, D. B. & Dimitrakopoulos, C. D. Organic–inorganic hybrid materials as semiconducting channels in thin-film field-effect transistors. Science 286, 945–947 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Tanaka, K. et al. Comparative study on the excitons in lead-halide-based perovskite-type crystals CH3NH3PbBr3 and CH3NH3PbI3 . Solid State Commun. 127, 619–623 (2003).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Snaith, H. J. Perovskites: the emergence of a new era for low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 3623–3630 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Stranks, S. D. et al. Electron-hole diffusion lengths exceeding 1 micrometer in an organometal trihalide perovskite absorber. Science 342, 341–344 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sasabe, H. & Kido, J. Development of high performance OLEDs for general lighting. J. Mater. Chem. C 1, 1699–1707 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Riede, M., Mueller, T., Tress, W., Schueppel, R. & Leo, K. Small-molecule solar cells—status and perspectives. Nanotechnology 19, 424001 (2008).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Jeng, J-Y. et al. CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite/fullerene planar-heterojunction hybrid solar cells. Adv. Mater. 25, 3727–3732 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Sun, S. et al. The origin of high efficiency in low-temperature solution-processable bilayer organometal halide hybrid solar cells. Energy Environ. Sci. (2014).

  19. Mitzi, D. B. in Progress in Inorganic Chemistry, Vol. 48 (ed. Karin, K.D.) 1–121 (John Wiley, 2007).

  20. Yu, G., Gao, J., Hummelen, J. C., Wudl, F. & Heeger, A. J. Polymer photovoltaic cells: enhanced efficiencies via a network of internal donor–acceptor heterojunctions. Science 270, 1789–1791 (1995).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Malinkiewicz, O., Lenes, M., Brine, H. & Bolink, H. J. Meniscus coated high open-circuit voltage bi-layer solar cells. RSC Adv. 2, 3335–3339 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Abrusci, A. et al. High-performance perovskite–polymer hybrid solar cells via electronic coupling with fullerene monolayers. Nano Lett. 13, 3124–3128 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Pawley, G. S. Unit-cell refinement from powder diffraction scans. J. Appl. Cryst. 14, 357–361 (1981).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. TOPAS-Academic, Version 4.1, 2007, (Coelho Software, Brisbane).

  25. Takahashi, Y. et al. Charge-transport in tin-iodide perovskite CH3NH3SnI3: origin of high conductivity. Dalton Trans. 40, 5563–5568 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank A. Soriano-Portillo, J. Ferrando, A. K. Chandiran and E. Ortí for their assistance with the sample preparation and characterization, and careful proofreading of the manuscript. This work was supported by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (ORION, Grant 229036 and NANOMATCELL, Grant 308997), the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MAT2011-24594), the Generalitat Valenciana (Prometeo/2012/053) and the Global Research Laboratory Program, Korea (GLOBASOL, Grant 309194).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



O.M. designed, prepared and characterized the devices, A.Y. and Y.H.L. characterized the devices, G.M.E. supervised the X-ray characterization and interpretation, M.G. supervised the work and wrote the manuscript, M.K.N. initiated the research, provided key materials and wrote the manuscript, H.J.B initiated the research, designed the devices, supervised the work and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Mohammad K. Nazeeruddin or Henk J. Bolink.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information

Supplementary information (PDF 592 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Malinkiewicz, O., Yella, A., Lee, Y. et al. Perovskite solar cells employing organic charge-transport layers. Nature Photon 8, 128–132 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

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