Improved Morphology and Efficiency of n–i–p Planar Perovskite Solar Cells by Processing with Glycol Ether Additives

Planar perovskite solar cells can be prepared without high-temperature processing steps typically associated with mesoporous device architectures; however, their efficiency has been lower, and producing high-quality perovskite films in planar devices has been challenging. Here, we report a modified two-step interdiffusion protocol suitable to preparing pinhole-free perovskite films with greatly improved morphology. This is achieved by simple addition of small amounts of glycol ethers to the preparation protocol. We unravel the impact the glycol ethers have on the perovskite film formation using in situ ultraviolet–visible absorbance and grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering experiments. From these experiments we conclude that addition of glycol ethers changes the lead iodide to perovskite conversion dynamics and enhances the conversion efficiency, resulting in more compact polycrystalline films, and it creates micrometer-sized perovskite crystals vertically aligned across the photoactive layer. Consequently, the average photovoltaic performance increases from 13.5% to 15.9%, and reproduciability is enhanced, specifically when 2-methoxyethanol is used as the additive.