Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica

Special Issue: Metal Halide Perovskite Optoelectronic Material and Device

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Stable Perovskite Solar Cells Using Compact Tin Oxide Layer Deposited through Electrophoresis

Peiquan Song, Liqiang Xie, Lina Shen, Kaikai Liu, Yuming Liang, Kebin Lin, Jianxun Lu, Chengbo Tian, Zhanhua Wei   

  1. Institute of Luminescent Materials and Information Displays, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, Fujian Province, P. R. China
  • Received:2020-04-13 Revised:2020-05-11 Accepted:2020-05-26 Published:2020-05-29
  • Supported by:
    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21805101, 51802102, 51902110), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, China (2019J01057), the Promotion Program for Young and Middle-aged Teacher in Science and Technology Research of Huaqiao University, China (ZQN-PY607), and the Scientific Research Funds of Huaqiao University, China (16BS201, 17BS409, 19BS105).

Abstract: Tin oxide (SnO2) thin films are widely used as electron transport layers in planar perovskite solar cells (PSCs) and commonly prepared using solution-processed spin-coating. However, obtaining full coverage and pinhole-free surfaces for the spin-coated (SC) SnO2 is challenging because the nanocrystals in the precursor solution can undergo aggregation, wherein the precursor solution may contain dust particles, and the desired film thickness is rater small. Since dense electron transport layer films without pinholes are crucial in suppressing the non-radiative recombination of charge carriers in PSCs, developing deposition methods to prepare high-quality SnO2 films is important to improve the performance of planar PSCs. In this study, we investigated the application of electrophoresis (EP) in depositing compact and pinhole-free SnO2 thin films. We conducted electrophoresis to deposit a dense nanocrystalline film on the surface of Indium tin oxide (ITO) and employed a spin-coating step to adjust the thickness of the film and remove the residual SnO2 nanocrystalline precursor solution. This method was denoted as EP-SC. In the electrophoresis, the negatively charged SnO2 nanocrystals, caused by a strong electric field, migrated towards the surface of the ITO anode and formed more compactly packed thin films than that of the spin-coated SnO2. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements demonstrated that the surface of EP-SC SnO2 was more uniform than that of SC SnO2 and there were no streaks and aggregated particles on the surface. This may have been due to the fact that the surface charge properties of the aggregated and dust particles in the precursor solution was different from that of the desired SnO2 nanocrystals. Hence, electrophoresis can selectively deposit SnO2 nanocrystals. Specifically, high-quality perovskites and electron transport layer interfaces can be achieved using this method. Both the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and dark J-V measurements showed that the PSCs using SnO2 prepared by electrophoresis followed by spin-coating demonstrated remarkably suppressed non-radiative recombination. As a result, the photoelectric power conversion efficiency increased from 18.17 (based on SC) to 19.52% (based on EP-SC) due to the enhanced short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage. The hysteresis of the device was eliminated. More importantly, the long-term stability measurements demonstrated that our device can maintain up to 71% of the initial efficiency after 960 h of continuous operation at the maximum power point (MPP) under one sun illumination. Whereas the device based on spin-coated SnO2 can maintain only up to 70% of the initial efficiency after working for 100 h. The results of this study can help in preparing electron transport layers to construct long-term stable planar PSCs, which are favorable for fabricating large-area PSCs and modules in future researches.

Key words: Electrophoresis, Tin oxide, Electron transport layer, Perovskite solar cell

MSC2000: 

  • O649.4