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High-efficiency solution-processed perovskite solar cells with millimeter-scale grains

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Science  30 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6221, pp. 522-525
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0472

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Large-crystal perovskite films

The performance of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite planar solar cells has steadily improved. One outstanding issue is that grain boundaries and defects in polycrystalline films degrade their output. Now, two studies report the growth of millimeter-scale single crystals. Nie et al. grew continuous, pinhole-free, thin iodochloride films with a hot-casting technique and report device efficiencies of 18%. Shi et al. used antisolvent vapor-assisted crystallization to grow millimeter-scale bromide and iodide cubic crystals with charge-carrier diffusion lengths exceeding 10 mm.

Science, this issue p. 522, p. 519

Abstract

State-of-the-art photovoltaics use high-purity, large-area, wafer-scale single-crystalline semiconductors grown by sophisticated, high-temperature crystal growth processes. We demonstrate a solution-based hot-casting technique to grow continuous, pinhole-free thin films of organometallic perovskites with millimeter-scale crystalline grains. We fabricated planar solar cells with efficiencies approaching 18%, with little cell-to-cell variability. The devices show hysteresis-free photovoltaic response, which had been a fundamental bottleneck for the stable operation of perovskite devices. Characterization and modeling attribute the improved performance to reduced bulk defects and improved charge carrier mobility in large-grain devices. We anticipate that this technique will lead the field toward synthesis of wafer-scale crystalline perovskites, necessary for the fabrication of high-efficiency solar cells, and will be applicable to several other material systems plagued by polydispersity, defects, and grain boundary recombination in solution-processed thin films.

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