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Precursor Concentration Affects Grain Size, Crystal Orientation, and Local Performance in Mixed-Ion Lead Perovskite Solar Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 06.11.2018, 00:00 by Sarah Wieghold, Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena, Lea Nienhaus, Shijing Sun, Katherine E. Shulenberger, Zhe Liu, Jason S. Tresback, Seong Sik Shin, Moungi G. Bawendi, Tonio Buonassisi
A key debate involving mixed-cation lead mixed-halide perovskite thin-films relates to the effects of process conditions on film morphology and local performance of perovskite solar cells. In this contribution, we investigate the influence of precursor concentration on the film thickness, grain size, and orientation of these polycrystalline thin-films. We vary the molar concentration of the perovskite precursor containing Rb, Cs, MA, FA, Pb, I, and Br from 0.4 to 1.2 M. We use optical and electrical probes to measure local properties and correlate the effect of crystallographic orientation on the inter- and intragrain charge-carrier transport. We find that, with increasing precursor concentration, the grain size of the polycrystalline thin-films becomes larger and more faceted. Films with small grains show mostly random grain orientation angles, whereas films with large grains are oriented with {100} planes around an angle of 20° relative to the surface normal. These films with oriented large grains also show longer-lived charge-carrier lifetimes and an improved charge-carrier extraction at the surface. Our results provide new insights into the role of process conditions (precursor concentration) on film morphology (grain size and orientation), and consequently on the homogeneity of local performance, which could bring perovskite solar cells beyond the state-of-the-art.