Adsorbed carbon nanomaterials for surface and interface-engineered stable rubidium multi-cation perovskite solar cells.

Research paper by Md Arafat MA Mahmud, Naveen Kumar NK Elumalai, Mushfika Baishakhi MB Upama, Dian D Wang, Leila L Zarei, Vinicius R VR Gonçales, Matthew M Wright, Cheng C Xu, Faiazul F Haque, Ashraf A Uddin

Indexed on: 20 Dec '17Published on: 20 Dec '17Published in: Nanoscale


The current work reports the simultaneous enhancement in efficiency and stability of low-temperature, solution-processed triple cation based MA0.57FA0.38Rb0.05PbI3 (MA: methyl ammonium, FA: formamidinium, Rb: rubidium) perovskite solar cells (PSCs) by means of adsorbed carbon nanomaterials at the perovskite/electron transporting layer interface. The quantity and quality of the adsorbents are precisely controlled to electronically modify the ETL surface and lower the energy barrier across the interface. Carbon derivatives namely fullerene (C60) and PC71BM ([6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester) are employed as adsorbents in conjunction with ZnO and together serve as a bilayer electron transporting layer (ETL). The adsorbed fullerene (C60-ZnO, abbreviated as C-ZnO) passivates the interstitial trap-sites of ZnO with interstitial intercalation of oxygen atoms in the ZnO lattice structure. C-ZnO ETL based PSCs demonstrate about a 19% higher average PCE compared to conventional ZnO ETL based devices and a nearly 9% higher average PCE than PC71BM adsorbed-ZnO (P-ZnO) ETL based PSCs. In addition, the interstitial trap-state passivation with a C-ZnO film upshifts the Fermi-level position of the C-ZnO ETL by 130 meV, with reference to the ZnO ETL, which contributes to an enhanced n-type conductivity. The photocurrent hysteresis phenomenon in C-ZnO PSCs is also substantially reduced due to mitigated charge trapping phenomena and concomitant reduction in an electrode polarization process. Another major highlight of this work is that, C-ZnO PSCs demonstrate a superior device stability retaining about 94% of its initial PCE in the course of a month-long, systematic degradation study conducted in our work. The enhanced device stability with C-ZnO PSCs is attributed to their high resistance to aging-induced recombination phenomena and a water-induced perovskite degradation process, due to a lower content of oxygen-related chemisorbed species on the C-ZnO ETL. The intricate mechanisms behind the efficiency and stability enhancement are investigated in detail and explained in the context of enhanced surface and interfacial electronic properties.