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Issue 6, 2021
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Sustainable solvent selection for the manufacture of methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells

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Abstract

Perovskite solar cells have emerged as a promising and highly efficient solar technology. Despite efficiencies continuing to climb, the prospect of industrial manufacture is in part hampered by concerns regarding the safety and sustainability of the solvents used in lab scale manufacture. In this paper, we aim to present a methodology for green solvent selection informed by EHS considerations from the CHEM-21 solvent guide for successful methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) precursor dissolution. Through the use of this methodology we present a N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF)-free alternative solvent system for deposition of MAPbI3 precursors (MAI and PbI2) consisting of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), dimethylpropyleneurea (DMPU), 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (2-MeTHF) and ethanol (EtOH). We have investigated 3 candidate solutions with slightly different compositions of these four solvents, all of which produce dense, uniform and pinhole-free perovskite films via spin coating. All three candidate solutions (A–C) match the average device efficiencies of the DMF/DMSO control devices (12.4%) with candidate A, which consists of 40% DMSO, 30% DMPU, 20% 2-MeTHF and 10% EtOH (vol%), producing a champion PCE of 16.1% compared to 16.2% for DMF/DMSO (80/20 vol%). Perovskite films cast from the three candidate solutions show improved crystallinity, higher fluorescence emission, and improved crystal size uniformity than those cast from DMF/DMSO. This work aims to: highlight the key solvent parameters which determine effective MAPbI3 precursor dissolution; provide a set of criteria for appropriate alternative solvent selection; and demonstrate the application of green chemistry principles to solvent selection for perovskite photovoltaic manufacturing.

Graphical abstract: Sustainable solvent selection for the manufacture of methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
07 Jan 2021
Accepted
09 Mar 2021
First published
11 Mar 2021

This article is Open Access

Green Chem., 2021,23, 2471-2486
Article type
Paper

Sustainable solvent selection for the manufacture of methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells

A. J. Doolin, R. G. Charles, C. S. P. De Castro, R. G. Rodriguez, E. V. Péan, R. Patidar, T. Dunlop, C. Charbonneau, T. Watson and M. L. Davies, Green Chem., 2021, 23, 2471
DOI: 10.1039/D1GC00079A

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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