CH3NH3PbI3 films prepared by combining 1- and 2-step deposition: how crystal growth conditions affect properties

Muhamad Zulhasif Mokhtar, Mu Chen, Eric Whittaker, Bruce Hamilton, Nicholas Aristidou, Simko Ramadan, Ali Gholinia, Saif A. Haque, Paul O'Brien, Brian Saunders

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    Perovskite solar cells continue to attract strong attention because of their unprecedented rate of power conversion efficiency increase. CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3) is the most widely studied perovskite. Typically one-step (1-s) or two-step (2-s) deposition methods are used to prepare MAPbI3 films. Here, we investigate a new MAPbI3 film formation method that combines 1-s and 2-s deposition (termed 1 & 2-s) and uses systematic variation of the stoichiometric mole ratio (x) for the PbI2 + xMAI solutions employed. The PbI2 + xMAI solutions were used to deposit precursor films that were subsequently dipped in MAI solution as a second step to produce the final MAPbI3 films. The morphologies of the 1 & 2-s MAPbI3 films consisted of three crystal types: tree-like microcrystals (>> 1 m), cuboid meso-crystals (~ 0.1 – 1 m) and nanocrystals (~ 50 – 80 nm). Each crystal type and their proportions were controlled by the value for x. The new 1 & 2-s deposition method produced MAPbI3 films with tuneable optoelectronic properties that were related to those for the conventional 1-s and 2-s films. However, the 1 & 2-s film properties were not simply a combination of those for the 1-s and 2-s films. The 1 & 2-s films showed enhanced light scattering and the photoluminescence spectra displayed a morphologically-dependent red-shift. The unique morphologies for the 1 & 2-s films also strongly influenced PbI2 conversion, power conversion efficiency, hysteresis and recombination. The trends for the performance parameters and hysteresis were compared for devices constructed using Spiro-MeOTAD and P3HT and were similar. The 1 & 2-s method should apply to other perovskite formulations and the new insights concerning MAPbI3 crystal growth conditions, morphology and material properties established in this study should also be transferable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7204-7214
    JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017


    • Perovskite
    • Solar cell


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