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Light-induced lattice expansion leads to high-efficiency perovskite solar cells

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Science  06 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6384, pp. 67-70
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8671

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Light relaxes hybrid perovskites

Ion migration in organic-inorganic perovskite solar cells limits device stability and performance. Tsai et al. found that a cesium-doped lead triiodide perovskite with mixed organic cations underwent a uniform lattice expansion after 180 min of exposure at 1 sun of illumination. This structural change reduced the energy barriers for charge carriers at the contacts of solar cells. The resulting increase in power conversion efficiency from 18.5 to 20.5% was maintained for more than 1500 hours of illumination.

Science, this issue p. 67

Abstract

Light-induced structural dynamics plays a vital role in the physical properties, device performance, and stability of hybrid perovskite–based optoelectronic devices. We report that continuous light illumination leads to a uniform lattice expansion in hybrid perovskite thin films, which is critical for obtaining high-efficiency photovoltaic devices. Correlated, in situ structural and device characterizations reveal that light-induced lattice expansion benefits the performances of a mixed-cation pure-halide planar device, boosting the power conversion efficiency from 18.5 to 20.5%. The lattice expansion leads to the relaxation of local lattice strain, which lowers the energetic barriers at the perovskite-contact interfaces, thus improving the open circuit voltage and fill factor. The light-induced lattice expansion did not compromise the stability of these high-efficiency photovoltaic devices under continuous operation at full-spectrum 1-sun (100 milliwatts per square centimeter) illumination for more than 1500 hours.

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