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In situ growth of graphene on both sides of a Cu–Ni alloy electrode for perovskite solar cells with improved stability


The instability of rear electrodes undermines the long-term operational durability of efficient perovskite solar cells. Here, a composite electrode of copper–nickel (Cu–Ni) alloy stabilized by in situ grown bifacial graphene is designed. The alloying makes the work function of Cu suitable for regular perovskite solar cells. Cu–Ni is the ideal substrate for preparing high-quality graphene via chemical vapour deposition, which simultaneously protects the device from oxygen, water and reactions between internal components. To rivet the composite electrode with the semi-device, a thermoplastic copolymer is applied as an adhesive layer through hot pressing. The resulting devices achieve power conversion efficiencies of 24.34% and 20.76% (certified 20.86%) with aperture areas of 0.09 and 1.02 cm2, respectively. The devices show improved stability: 97% of their initial efficiency is retained after 1,440 hours of a damp-heat test at 85 °C with a relative humidity of 85%; 95% of their initial efficiency is retained after 5,000 hours at maximum power point tracking under continuous 1 sun illumination.

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Fig. 1: The quality and number of layers of graphene of CNG composite electrodes characterized by optical microscope and Raman spectra.
Fig. 2: The structure and performance of PSCs with aperture areas of 0.09 and 1.02 cm2.
Fig. 3: The stabilizing mechanism of CNG electrodes.
Fig. 4: The stabilizing effect of CNG electrodes on devices.

Data availability

Source data are provided with this paper. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the published article and its Supplementary Information and Source Data files.


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We thank Z. Bao and Y. Han from the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) for assistance with SEM measurements; J. Ding from the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) for assistance with time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy measurements; X. Ding and N. Zhang from the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) for assistance with XPS and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy measurements; R. Wang from the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and K. Jiang from the Engineering Research Center for Nanophotonics and Advanced Instrument, Ministry of Education, School of Physics and Electronic Science, East China Normal University (China) for assistance with Raman spectra measurements; X. Liu and Y. Liu from the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) for assistance with GC-MS measurements; and Y. Liu and Y. Li from the Instrumental Analysis Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) for assistance with static contact angle measurements. Funding was provided by the and National Key R&D Program of China grant 2020YFB1506400 (Q.H.), National Natural Science Foundation of China grant 11834011 (L.H.), National Natural Science Foundation of China grant 12074245 (L.H.), National Natural Science Foundation of China grant 52102281 (Y. Wang) and Shanghai Sailing Program grant 21YF1421600 (Y. Wang).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



X.L., Y. Wang and L.H. conceived of the work. X.L. and H. Su fabricated the solar cells. X.L. conducted SEM, AFM, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and CV, transient photovoltage, JV and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy measurements. H. Su, S.H. and Y.S. prepared the Cu–Ni alloy and graphene and synthesized the EVA-based adhesive. H. Su, S.H. and Y.S. performed AFM, XPS and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. X.Y. and Q.H. assisted with the analysis of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy and XPS. J.F. assisted with the analysis of the Tafel polarization curves. Z.Q. assisted with measurement of transient photovoltage. Y. Wu assisted with the analysis of GC-MS. X.L. wrote the first draught of the manuscript. X.L., Y.Z., H. Segawa, M.G., Y. Wang and L.H. revised the manuscript. All authors analysed the data and reviewed the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yanbo Wang or Liyuan Han.

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Nature Energy thanks Jin-Wook Lee and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–24 and Tables 1–4.

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Supplementary Data 1

The individual data behind Supplementary Figs. 11 and 20.

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Source Data Fig. 4

The individual data behind the average values in Fig. 4.

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Lin, X., Su, H., He, S. et al. In situ growth of graphene on both sides of a Cu–Ni alloy electrode for perovskite solar cells with improved stability. Nat Energy 7, 520–527 (2022).

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