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Enhancing the Durability and Carrier Selectivity of Perovskite Solar Cells Using a Blend Interlayer

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2017, 9, 21, 18103–18112
Publication Date (Web):May 12, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

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    A mechanically and thermally stable and electron-selective ZnO/CH3NH3PbI3 interface is created via hybridization of a polar insulating polymer, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), into ZnO nanoparticles (NPs). PEG successfully passivates the oxygen defects on ZnO and prevents direct contact between CH3NH3PbI3 and defects on ZnO. A uniform CH3NH3PbI3 film is formed on a soft ZnO:PEG layer after dispersion of the residual stress from the volume expansion during CH3NH3PbI3 conversion. PEG also increases the work of adhesion of the CH3NH3PbI3 film on the ZnO:PEG layer and holds the CH3NH3PbI3 film with hydrogen bonding. Furthermore, PEG tailors the interfacial electronic structure of ZnO, reducing the electron affinity of ZnO. As a result, a selective electron-collection cathode is formed with a reduced electron affinity and a deep-lying valence band of ZnO, which significantly enhances the carrier lifetime (473 μs) and photovoltaic performance (15.5%). The mechanically and electrically durable ZnO:PEG/CH3NH3PbI3 interface maintains the sustainable performance of the solar cells over 1 year. A soft and durable cathodic interface via PEG hybridization in a ZnO layer is an effective strategy toward flexible electronics and commercialization of the perovskite solar cells.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b02349.

    • ZnO NP properties, picture images of PbI2 and CH3NH3PbI3, contact angles of proven liquids, XRD of PbI2 and CH3NH3PbI3 on ZnO and ZnO:PEG layers, AFM phase images, XRD of ZnO layers, UV–vis absorption of ZPx, ILP-dependent Jph of PeSCs, EQE, and JV hysteresis of PeSCs (PDF)

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