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Adsorbed Carbon Nanomaterials for Surface and Interface-Engineered Stable Rubidium Multi-Cation Perovskite Solar Cells


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 is precisely controlled to electronically modify the ETL surface as well as lower the energy barrier across the interface. Carbon derivatives namely fullerene (C60) and PC71BM (6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester) is employed as adsorbents in conjunction with ZnO together serving 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 ZnO lattice structure. C-ZnO ETL based PSCs demonstrate about 19% higher average PCE compared to conventional ZnO ETL based devices and nearly 9% higher average PCE than PC71BM adsorbed-ZnO (P-ZnO) ETL based PSCs. In addition, the interstitial trap-state passivation with C-ZnO film upshifts the Fermi-level position of C-ZnO ETL by 130 meV, with reference to ZnO ETL, which contributes to enhanced n-type conductivity. The photocurrent hysteresis phenomenon in C-ZnO PSC is also substantially reduced due to mitigated charge trapping phenomena and concomitant reduction in electrode polarization process. Another major highlight of this work is that, C-ZnO PSC demonstrates 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 PSC is attributed to its high resistance to aging-induced recombination phenomena and water-induced perovskite degradation process, due to lower content of oxygen-related chemisorbed species on C-ZnO ETL. The intricate mechanisms behind the efficiency and stability enhancements are investigated in detail and explained in the context of enhanced surface and interfacial electronic properties.

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Sep 2017, accepted on 22 Nov 2017 and first published on 27 Nov 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06812C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Adsorbed Carbon Nanomaterials for Surface and Interface-Engineered Stable Rubidium Multi-Cation Perovskite Solar Cells

    M. A. Mahmud, N. K. Elumalai, M. B. Upama, D. Wang, L. Zarei, V. R. Gonçales, M. Wright, C. Xu, F. Haque and A. Uddin, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06812C

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