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Junction Quality of SnO2‑Based Perovskite Solar Cells Investigated by Nanometer-Scale Electrical Potential Profiling

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journal contribution
posted on 13.10.2017, 00:00 by Chuanxiao Xiao, Changlei Wang, Weijun Ke, Brian P. Gorman, Jichun Ye, Chun-Sheng Jiang, Yanfa Yan, Mowafak M. Al-Jassim
Electron-selective layers (ESLs) and hole-selective layers (HSLs) are critical in high-efficiency organic–inorganic lead halide perovskite (PS) solar cells for charge-carrier transport, separation, and collection. We developed a procedure to assess the quality of the ESL/PS junction by measuring potential distribution on the cross section of SnO2-based PS solar cells using Kelvin probe force microscopy. Using the potential profiling, we compared three types of cells made of different ESLs but otherwise having an identical device structure: (1) cells with PS deposited directly on bare fluorine-doped SnO2 (FTO)-coated glass; (2) cells with an intrinsic SnO2 thin layer on the top of FTO as an effective ESL; and (3) cells with the SnO2 ESL and adding a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of fullerene. The results reveal two major potential drops or electric fields at the ESL/PS and PS/HSL interfaces. The electric-field ratio between the ESL/PS and PS/HSL interfaces increased in devices as follows: FTO < SnO2-ESL < SnO2 + SAM; this sequence explains the improvements of the fill factor (FF) and open-circuit voltage (Voc). The improvement of the FF from the FTO to SnO2-ESL cells may result from the reduction in voltage loss at the PS/HSL back interface and the improvement of Voc from the prevention of hole recombination at the ESL/PS front interface. The further improvements with adding an SAM is caused by the defect passivation at the ESL/PS interface, and hence, improvement of the junction quality. These nanoelectrical findings suggest possibilities for improving the device performance by further optimizing the SnO2-based ESL material quality and the ESL/PS interface.