Electron-hole diffusion lengths > 175 μm in solution-grown CH3NH3PbI3 single crystals

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Science  27 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6225, pp. 967-970
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5760

Balanced carrier diffusion in perovskites

The efficient operation of solar cells based on inorganic-organic perovskites requires balanced transport of positive and negative charge carriers over long distances. Dong et al. used a top-seeded solution growth method to obtain millimeter-scale single crystals of the organolead trihalide perovskite CH3NH3PbI3. Under low light illumination, the electron and hole diffusion lengths exceeded 3 mm, and under full sunlight illumination, they exceeded 175 µm.

Science, this issue p. 967


Long, balanced electron and hole diffusion lengths greater than 100 nanometers in the polycrystalline organolead trihalide compound CH3NH3PbI3 are critical for highly efficient perovskite solar cells. We found that the diffusion lengths in CH3NH3PbI3 single crystals grown by a solution-growth method can exceed 175 micrometers under 1 sun (100 mW cm−2) illumination and exceed 3 millimeters under weak light for both electrons and holes. The internal quantum efficiencies approach 100% in 3-millimeter-thick single-crystal perovskite solar cells under weak light. These long diffusion lengths result from greater carrier mobility, longer lifetime, and much smaller trap densities in the single crystals than in polycrystalline thin films. The long carrier diffusion lengths enabled the use of CH3NH3PbI3 in radiation sensing and energy harvesting through the gammavoltaic effect, with an efficiency of 3.9% measured with an intense cesium-137 source.

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