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Improved Carrier Transport in Perovskite Solar Cells Probed by Femtosecond Transient Absorption Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 30.11.2017, 00:00 by Efthymis Serpetzoglou, Ioannis Konidakis, George Kakavelakis, Temur Maksudov, Emmanuel Kymakis, Emmanuel Stratakis
CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite thin films have been deposited on glass/indium tin oxide/hole transport layer (HTL) substrates, utilizing two different materials as the HTLs. In the first configuration, the super hydrophilic polymer poly­(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly­(styrenesulfonate), known as PEDOT:PSS, was employed as the HTL material, whereas in the second case, the nonwetting poly­(triarylamine) semiconductor polymer, known as PTAA, was used. It was found that when PTAA is used as the HTL material, the averaged power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the perovskite solar cells (PSCs) remarkably increases from 12.60 to 15.67%. To explore the mechanism behind this enhancement, the aforementioned perovskite/HTL arrangements were investigated by time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) performed under inert conditions. By means of TAS, the charge transfer, carrier trapping, and hole injection dynamics from the photoexcited perovskite layers to the HTL can be directly monitored via the characteristic bleaching profile of the perovskite at ∼750 nm. TAS studies revealed faster relaxation times and decay dynamics when the PTAA polymer is employed, which potentially account for the enhanced PCE observed. The TAS results are correlated with the structure and crystalline quality of the corresponding perovskite films, investigated by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, micro-photoluminescence, and transmittance spectroscopy. It is concluded that TAS is a benchmark technique for the understanding of the carrier transport mechanisms in PSCs and constitutes a figure-of-merit tool toward their efficiency improvement.