Impact of microstructure on local carrier lifetime in perovskite solar cells

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Science  08 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6235, pp. 683-686
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5333

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Going toward the grains

Great strides have been made in improving the efficiency of organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells. Further improvements are likely to depend on understanding the role of film morphology on charge-carrier dynamics. de Quilettes et al. correlated confocal fluorescence microscopy images with those from scanning electron microscopy to spatially resolve the photoluminescence and carrier decay dynamics from films of organic-inorganic perovskites. Carrier lifetimes varied widely even between grains, and chemical treatments could improve lifetimes

Science, this issue p. 683


The remarkable performance of hybrid perovskite photovoltaics is attributed to their long carrier lifetimes and high photoluminescence (PL) efficiencies. High-quality films are associated with slower PL decays, and it has been claimed that grain boundaries have a negligible impact on performance. We used confocal fluorescence microscopy correlated with scanning electron microscopy to spatially resolve the PL decay dynamics from films of nonstoichiometric organic-inorganic perovskites, CH3NH3PbI3(Cl). The PL intensities and lifetimes varied between different grains in the same film, even for films that exhibited long bulk lifetimes. The grain boundaries were dimmer and exhibited faster nonradiative decay. Energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy showed a positive correlation between chlorine concentration and regions of brighter PL, whereas PL imaging revealed that chemical treatment with pyridine could activate previously dark grains.

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