Methylammonium-free, high-performance, and stable perovskite solar cells on a planar architecture

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Science  26 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6413, pp. 449-453
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat3583

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Staying in the black phase

Hybrid perovskite solar cells often use the more thermally stable formamidinium (FA) cation rather than methylammonium, but its larger size can create lattice distortion that results in an inactive yellow phase. Turren-Cruz et al. show that by using iodide instead of bromide as the anion (to create a redder bandgap) and an optical mix of cesium, rubidium, and FA cations, they can make solar cells with a stabilized efficiency of more than 20%. No heating steps above 100°C were needed to create the preferred black phase.

Science, this issue p. 449


Currently, perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with high performances greater than 20% contain bromine (Br), causing a suboptimal bandgap, and the thermally unstable methylammonium (MA) molecule. Avoiding Br and especially MA can therefore result in more optimal bandgaps and stable perovskites. We show that inorganic cation tuning, using rubidium and cesium, enables highly crystalline formamidinium-based perovskites without Br or MA. On a conventional, planar device architecture, using polymeric interlayers at the electron- and hole-transporting interface, we demonstrate an efficiency of 20.35% (stabilized), one of the highest for MA-free perovskites, with a drastically improved stability reached without the stabilizing influence of mesoporous interlayers. The perovskite is not heated beyond 100°C. Going MA-free is a new direction for perovskites that are inherently stable and compatible with tandems or flexible substrates, which are the main routes commercializing PSCs.

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