Article | Published:

Perovskite solar cells with a planar heterojunction structure prepared using room-temperature solution processing techniques

Nature Photonics volume 8, pages 133138 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Organic–inorganic hybrid solar cells that combine a mesoporous scaffold, a perovskite light absorber and an organic hole transporter have emerged at the forefront of solution-processable photovoltaic devices; however, they require processing temperatures of up to 500 °C to sinter the mesoporous metal-oxide support. Here, we report the use of a thin film of ZnO nanoparticles as an electron-transport layer in CH3NH3PbI3-based solar cells; in contrast to mesoporous TiO2, the ZnO layer is both substantially thinner and requires no sintering. We took advantage of these facts to prepare flexible solar cells with power-conversion efficiencies in excess of 10%. The use of ZnO also results in improvements to device performance for cells prepared on rigid substrates. Solar cells based on this design exhibit power-conversion efficiencies as high as 15.7% when measured under AM1.5G illumination, which makes them some of the highest-performing perovskite solar cells reported to date.

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Acknowledgements

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan are acknowledged for financial support. T.L.K. is a Canada Research Chair in Photovoltaics. The research was undertaken, in part, thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chair Program. L. Liu is acknowledged for the synthesis of the ZnO nanoparticles. F. Borondics and G. Wells are acknowledged for their assistance with the SEM measurements. Z. Zhang is also gratefully acknowledged for her assistance with the high-resolution SEM and TEM measurements. A. Grosvenor is acknowledged for helpful discussions.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5C9, Canada

    • Dianyi Liu
    •  & Timothy L. Kelly

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Contributions

D.L. carried out the device fabrication and performance measurements. T.L.K. prepared the manuscript and directed the study. Both D.L. and T.L.K. conceived the experiments, and contributed to data analysis, the discussion of the results and manuscript revisions.

Competing interests

D.L. and T.K. are named inventors on US provisional patent application 61/891,020 (filing date 15.10.2013), which is related to the techniques described in this article.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Timothy L. Kelly.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2013.342

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