Indexed on: 06 Mar '18Published on: 26 Feb '18Published in: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
As a convenient preparation technique, a two-step method, which is normally done by spin-coating CH3NH3I onto PbI2 film followed by a thermal annealing, is generally used to prepare solution-processed CH3NH3PbI3 films for planar perovskite solar cells. Here, we prepare the compact CH3NH3PbI3 thin films by the two-step method at a low temperature (<80 °C) and investigate the effects of PbI2 crystallization on the structure–property correlation in the CH3NH3PbI3 films. It is found that the importance of the crystallization in PbI2 matrix lies in governing the transition from the (001) plane of trigonal PbI2 to the (002) plane of tetragonal CH3NH3PbI3 in the rapid reaction process for atoms to coordinate into perovskite during spin-coating, which actually determines the morphology and the type of vacancy defects in resulting perovskite; a better crystallized PbI2 film has a much stronger ability to react with CH3NH3I solution and produces larger CH3NH3PbI3 grains with a higher crystallinity. The CH3NH3PbI3/TiO2 planar solar cell derived from a better crystallized PbI2 film exhibits significantly improved performance and stability as the result of the higher crystallinity inside the perovskite film. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the crystalline PbI2 film matrix subjected to the annealing after a slow heating process prior to contacting CH3NH3I solution is more effective for CH3NH3PbI3 formation than that with a direct annealing history. The results in this paper provide a guide for preparing high-quality CH3NH3PbI3 thin films for efficient perovskite solar cells and CH3NH3PbI3 interfacial films over the layers susceptible to temperature.