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Perovskite solar cells with CuSCN hole extraction layers yield stabilized efficiencies greater than 20%

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Science  10 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6364, pp. 768-771
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5655

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Transporter layers improve stability

Although perovskite solar cells can have power conversion efficiencies exceeding 20%, they can have limited thermal and ultraviolet irradiation stability. This is in part because of the materials used to extract the charge carriers (electrons and holes) from the active layer. Arora et al. replaced organic hole transporter layers with CuCSN to improve thermal stability. Device lifetime was enhanced when a conducting reduced graphene oxide spacer was added between the CuSCN layer and the gold electrode.

Science, this issue p. 768

Abstract

Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with efficiencies greater than 20% have been realized only with expensive organic hole-transporting materials. We demonstrate PSCs that achieve stabilized efficiencies exceeding 20% with copper(I) thiocyanate (CuSCN) as the hole extraction layer. A fast solvent removal method enabled the creation of compact, highly conformal CuSCN layers that facilitate rapid carrier extraction and collection. The PSCs showed high thermal stability under long-term heating, although their operational stability was poor. This instability originated from potential-induced degradation of the CuSCN/Au contact. The addition of a conductive reduced graphene oxide spacer layer between CuSCN and gold allowed PSCs to retain >95% of their initial efficiency after aging at a maximum power point for 1000 hours under full solar intensity at 60°C. Under both continuous full-sun illumination and thermal stress, CuSCN-based devices surpassed the stability of spiro-OMeTAD–based PSCs.

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