Dual nanocomposite carrier transport layers enhance the efficiency of planar perovskite photovoltaics

Hsi Kuei Lin, Jia Xing Li, Hao Cheng Wang, Yu Wei Su, Kaung-Hsiung Wu, Kung-Hwa Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In photovoltaic devices, more effective transfer of dissociated electrons and holes from the active layer to the respective electrodes will result in higher fill factors and short-circuit current densities and, thus, enhanced power conversion efficiencies (PCEs). Planar perovskite photovoltaics feature an active layer that can provide a large exciton diffusion length, reaching several micrometers, but require efficient carrier transport layers for charge extraction. In this study, we employed two nanocomposite carrier transfer layers - an electron transport layer (ETL) comprising [6,6]phenyl-C 61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 61 BM) doped with the small molecule 4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline (Bphen), to enhance the electron mobility, and a hole transfer layer (HTL) comprising poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) doped with molybdenum disulfide (MoS 2 ) nanosheets, to enhance the hole mobility. We used ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy to determine the energy levels of these composite ETLs and HTLs; atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to probe their surface structures; and transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering to decipher the structures of the ETLs. Adding a small amount (less than 1%) of Bphen allowed us to tune the energy levels of the ETL and decrease the size of the PC 61 BM clusters and, therefore, generate more PC 61 BM aggregation domains to provide more pathways for electron transport, leading to enhanced PCEs of the resulting perovskite devices. We used quantitative pump-probe data to resolve the carrier dynamics from the perovskite to the ETL and HTL, and observed a smaller possibility of carrier recombination and a shorter injection lifetime in the perovskite solar cell doubly modified with carrier transport layers, resulting in an enhancement of the PCE. The PCE reached 16% for a planar inverted perovskite device featuring an ETL incorporating 0.5 wt% Bphen within PC 61 BM and 0.1 wt% MoS 2 within PEDOT:PSS; this PCE is more than 50% higher than the value of 10.2% for the corresponding control device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12526-12534
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

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