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Metal halide perovskite tandem and multiple-junction photovoltaics


Metal halide perovskite-based solar cells have attracted considerable attention in recent years owing to their inexpensive and easy fabrication and rapidly increasing efficiencies, which already match those of the industrially dominant multi-crystalline silicon. The incorporation of perovskite absorber materials into multiple (multi-)junction cells could potentially allow us to go well beyond silicon-based technology and reach even higher power conversion efficiencies. Layering multiple solar-absorber junctions on top of each other enables the absorption of different regions of the solar spectrum, so that more energy can be extracted from sunlight. The possibility of tuning the bandgap of perovskite materials over a wide range, along with the ability to generate high open-circuit voltages from wide-bandgap absorbers, make perovskites ideal candidates. Perovskites can be used in combination with or as a substitute for silicon in photovoltaic technologies already in use and can be assembled in hybrid tandem architectures or layered in all-perovskite multi-junction cells. In this Review, we discuss opportunities for perovskite multi-junction cells, explore the progress made so far, describe the theoretical possibilities and discuss perspectives and challenges for the future of this emergent technology.

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Figure 1: Operating principle and efficiency limits for tandem solar cells.
Figure 2: Perovskite structure, bandgaps and bandgap stability.
Figure 3: Hybrid tandems.
Figure 4: All-perovskite tandem cells with solution-processed and evaporated recombination layers.
Figure 5: Timeline showing the major developments in the evolution of perovskite tandem solar cells.
Figure 6: Perovskite tandem cell efficiencies.
Figure 7: Realistic energy yield of perovskite–Si tandems compared with single-junction silicon and perovskite cells.
Figure 8: Triple-junction solar cells.


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G.E.E. is supported by the European Union's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014–2020) under the Marie Skłodowska–Curie Grant Agreement No. 699935. M.T.H. was funded by Oxford PV Ltd. H.J.S. is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK.

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All authors contributed equally to the preparation of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Giles E. Eperon or Henry J. Snaith.

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PowerPoint slides


Power conversion efficiency

(PCE). The most important metric of a solar cell. It is the fraction of incident solar power that is converted into electrical power at the ideal operating voltage and is defined as PCE = Voc × Jsc × FF/Pin, where Pin is the incident power density and FF is the fill factor. It is normally defined at the standard test illumination of 100 mW cm−2 with the AM1.5 spectrum.

Short-circuit current

(Jsc). Effectively, the maximum current that the cell can provide under standard illumination conditions due to the collection of photogenerated carriers when held at short circuit (that is, zero volts across the junction).

Open-circuit voltage

(Voc). The voltage built up in a solar cell under standard illumination conditions when no current is allowed to flow out of the cell. Its value depends on factors including the bandgap of the absorber, the electron–hole recombination rate, the carrier diffusion length and the defect density in the cell.

External quantum efficiency

(EQE.) Number of carriers collected relative to the number of photons incident on the cell. The EQE of a cell defines the Jsc by integrating the product of the EQE and the AM 1.5G solar spectrum.

Lambertian models

Describe light trapping within a solar cell resulting from light that is reflected through a Lambertian reflector, which has an isotropic radiance; the luminous intensity is proportional to the cosine of the angle between incident light and normal.

Fresnel coefficients

Coefficients resulting from Fresnel's equations, which define the transmission and reflectance of an electric field at an interface between two homogeneous media as a function of angle of incidence.

Fill factor

Ratio of the power produced at the maximum power point voltage to the product of >Jsc and Voc. The maximum power point voltage is that at which voltage × current, that is, power, is maximum and the PCE is defined.

Detailed balance theory

Originally proposed by Shockley and Queisser, it allows the calculation of the thermodynamic efficiency limit of solar cells by taking into account the balance between absorbed and emitted photon flux.

Roll-to-roll processing

The process of creating devices on a continuous roll of flexible plastic or metal foil. If solar cells could be fabricated in this way, it is thought that the production cost could be a fraction of that for current wafer-based and module-based production processes.

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Eperon, G., Hörantner, M. & Snaith, H. Metal halide perovskite tandem and multiple-junction photovoltaics. Nat Rev Chem 1, 0095 (2017).

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