Controlling intrinsic quantum confinement in formamidinium lead triiodide perovskite through cs substitution

ACS Nano American Chemical Society (2022)

Authors:

Karim Elmestekawy, Adam Wright, Kilian Lohmann, Anna Juliane Borchert, Michael Johnston, Laura Herz

Abstract:

Lead halide perovskites are leading candidates for photovoltaic and light-emitting devices, owing to their excellent and widely tunable optoelectronic properties. Nanostructure control has been central to their development, allowing for improvements in efficiency and stability, and changes in electronic dimensionality. Recently, formamidinium lead triiodide (FAPbI3) has been shown to exhibit intrinsic quantum confinement effects in nominally bulk thin films, apparent through above-bandgap absorption peaks. Here, we show that such nanoscale electronic effects can be controlled through partial replacement of the FA cation with Cs. We find that Cs-cation exchange causes a weakening of quantum confinement in the perovskite, arising from changes in the bandstructure, the length scale of confinement, or the presence of δH-phase electronic barriers. We further observe photon emission from quantum-confined regions, highlighting their potential usefulness to light-emitting devices and single-photon sources. Overall, controlling this intriguing quantum phenomenon will allow for its suppression or enhancement according to need.

Solvent-free method for defect reduction and improved performance of p-i-n vapor-deposited perovskite solar cells

ACS Energy Letters American Chemical Society 7 (2022) 1903-1911

Authors:

Kilian Lohmann, Silvia G Motti, Robert DJ Oliver, Alexandra J Ramadan, Harry C Sansom, Qimu Yuan, Karim A Elmestekawy, James M Ball, Laura M Herz, Henry J Snaith, Michael Johnston

Abstract:

As perovskite-based photovoltaics near commercialization, it is imperative to develop industrial-scale defect-passivation techniques. Vapor deposition is a solvent-free fabrication technique that is widely implemented in industry and can be used to fabricate metal-halide perovskite thin films. We demonstrate markably improved growth and optoelectronic properties for vapor-deposited [CH(NH2)2]0.83Cs0.17PbI3 perovskite solar cells by partially substituting PbI2 for PbCl2 as the inorganic precursor. We find the partial substitution of PbI2 for PbCl2 enhances photoluminescence lifetimes from 5.6 ns to over 100 ns, photoluminescence quantum yields by more than an order of magnitude, and charge-carrier mobility from 46 cm2/(V s) to 56 cm2/(V s). This results in improved solar-cell power conversion efficiency, from 16.4% to 19.3% for the devices employing perovskite films deposited with 20% substitution of PbI2 for PbCl2. Our method presents a scalable, dry, and solvent-free route to reducing nonradiative recombination centers and hence improving the performance of vapor-deposited metal-halide perovskite solar cells.

Optoelectronic properties of mixed iodide-bromide perovskites from first-principles computational modeling and experiment

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters American Chemical Society 13:18 (2022) 4184-4192

Authors:

Yinan Chen, Silvia G Motti, Robert DJ Oliver, Adam D Wright, Henry J Snaith, Michael B Johnston, Laura M Herz, Marina R Filip

Abstract:

Halogen mixing in lead-halide perovskites is an effective route for tuning the band gap in light emission and multijunction solar cell applications. Here we report the effect of halogen mixing on the optoelectronic properties of lead-halide perovskites from theory and experiment. We applied the virtual crystal approximation within density functional theory, the <i>GW</i> approximation, and the Bethe-Salpeter equation to calculate structural, vibrational, and optoelectronic properties for a series of mixed halide perovskites. We separately perform spectroscopic measurements of these properties and analyze the impact of halogen mixing on quasiparticle band gaps, effective masses, absorption coefficients, charge-carrier mobilities, and exciton binding energies. Our joint theoretical-experimental study demonstrates that iodide-bromide mixed-halide perovskites can be modeled as homovalent alloys, and local structural distortions do not play a significant role for the properties of these mixed species. Our study outlines a general theoretical-experimental framework for future investigations of novel chemically mixed systems.

Atomically Resolved Electrically Active Intragrain Interfaces in Perovskite Semiconductors.

Journal of the American Chemical Society 144:4 (2022) 1910-1920

Authors:

Songhua Cai, Jun Dai, Zhipeng Shao, Mathias Uller Rothmann, Yinglu Jia, Caiyun Gao, Mingwei Hao, Shuping Pang, Peng Wang, Shu Ping Lau, Kai Zhu, Joseph J Berry, Laura M Herz, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Yuanyuan Zhou

Abstract:

Deciphering the atomic and electronic structures of interfaces is key to developing state-of-the-art perovskite semiconductors. However, conventional characterization techniques have limited previous studies mainly to grain-boundary interfaces, whereas the intragrain-interface microstructures and their electronic properties have been much less revealed. Herein using scanning transmission electron microscopy, we resolved the atomic-scale structural information on three prototypical intragrain interfaces, unraveling intriguing features clearly different from those from previous observations based on standalone films or nanomaterial samples. These intragrain interfaces include composition boundaries formed by heterogeneous ion distribution, stacking faults resulted from wrongly stacked crystal planes, and symmetrical twinning boundaries. The atomic-scale imaging of these intragrain interfaces enables us to build unequivocal models for the ab initio calculation of electronic properties. Our results suggest that these structure interfaces are generally electronically benign, whereas their dynamic interaction with point defects can still evoke detrimental effects. This work paves the way toward a more complete fundamental understanding of the microscopic structure-property-performance relationship in metal halide perovskites.

Understanding and suppressing non-radiative losses in methylammonium-free wide-bandgap perovskite solar cells

Energy and Environmental Science Royal Society of Chemistry (2021)

Authors:

Robert DJ Oliver, Pietro Caprioglio, Francisco Peña-Camargo, Leonardo Buizza, Fengshuo Zu, Alexandra J Ramadan, Silvia Motti, Suhas Mahesh, Melissa McCarthy, Jonathan H Warby, Yen-Hung Lin, Norbert Koch, Steve Albrecht, Laura M Herz, Michael B Johnston, Dieter Neher, Martin Stolterfoht, Henry Snaith

Abstract:

With power conversion efficiencies of perovskite-on-silicon and all-perovskite tandem solar cells increasing at rapid pace, wide bandgap (> 1.7 eV) metal-halide perovskites (MHPs) are becoming a major focus of academic and industrial photovoltaic research. Compared to their lower bandgap (< 1.6 eV) counterparts, these types of perovskites suffer from higher levels of non-radiative losses in both the bulk material and in device configurations, constraining their efficiencies far below their thermodynamic potential. In this work, we investigate the energy losses in methylammonium (MA) free high-Br-content widegap perovskites by using a combination of THz spectroscopy, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence, coupled with drift-diffusion simulations. The investigation of this system allows us to study charge-carrier recombination in these materials and devices in the absence of halide segregation due to the photostabilty of formamidinium-cesium based lead halide perovskites. We find that these perovskites are characterised by large non-radiative recombination losses in the bulk material and that the interfaces with transport layers in solar cell devices strongly limit their open-circuit voltage. In particular, we discover that the interface with the hole transport layer performs particularly poorly, in contrast to 1.6 eV bandgap MHPs which are generally limited by the interface with the electron-transport layer. To overcome these losses, we incorporate and investigate the recombination mechanisms present with perovskites treated with the ionic additive 1-butyl-1-methylpipiderinium tetrafluoroborate. We find that this additive not only improves the radiative efficiency of the bulk perovskite, but also reduces the non-radiative recombination at both the hole and electron transport layer interfaces of full photovoltaic devices. In addition to unravelling the beneficial effect of this specific treatment, we further optimise our solar cells by introducing an additional LiF interface treatment at the electron transport layer interface. Together these treatments enable MA-free 1.79 eV bandgap perovskite solar cells with open-circuit voltages of 1.22 V and power conversion efficiencies approaching 17 %, which is among the highest reported for this material system.