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Lead-free solid-state organic–inorganic halide perovskite solar cells

Nature Photonics volume 8, pages 489494 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Lead-free solution-processed solid-state photovoltaic devices based on methylammonium tin iodide (CH3NH3SnI3) perovskite semiconductor as the light harvester are reported. Featuring an optical bandgap of 1.3 eV, the CH3NH3SnI3 perovskite material can be incorporated into devices with the organic hole-transport layer spiro-OMeTAD and show an absorption onset at 950 nm, which is significantly redshifted compared with the benchmark CH3NH3PbI3 counterpart (1.55 eV). Bandgap engineering was implemented by chemical substitution in the form of CH3NH3SnI3–xBrx solid solutions, which can be controllably tuned to cover much of the visible spectrum, thus enabling the realization of lead-free solar cells with an initial power conversion efficiency of 5.73% under simulated full sunlight. Further efficiency enhancements are expected following optimization and a better fundamental understanding of the internal electron dynamics and corresponding interfacial engineering. The reported CH3NH3SnI3–xBrx perovskite solar cells represent a step towards the realization of low-cost, environmentally friendly solid-state solar cells.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank T. Marks for use of the solar simulator and IPCE measurement system. Electron microscopy and elemental analysis were carried out at the Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) at Northwestern University. This research was supported as part of the ANSER Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (award no. DE-SC0001059) and ISEN at Northwestern University.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA

    • Feng Hao
    • , Constantinos C. Stoumpos
    • , Duyen Hanh Cao
    •  & Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA

    • Robert P. H. Chang

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Contributions

M.G.K. conceived the experiments and directed the study. F.H. and C.C.S. carried out the material synthesis, device fabrication and performance measurements. D.H.C. prepared the TiO2 blocking layer for the electrodes. R.P.H.C. contributed to the revision of the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mercouri G. Kanatzidis.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2014.82

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