The critical role of composition-dependent intragrain planar defects in the performance of MA1xFAxPbI3 perovskite solar cells

Wei Li, Mathias Uller Rothmann, Ye Zhu, Weijian Chen, Chenquan Yang, Yongbo Yuan, Yen Yee Choo, Xiaoming Wen, Yi-Bing Cheng, Udo Bach, Joanne Etheridge

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158 Citations (Scopus)


Perovskite solar cells show excellent power conversion efficiencies, long carrier diffusion lengths and low recombination rates. This encourages a view that intragrain defects are electronically benign with little impact on device performance. In this study we varied the methylammonium (MA)/formamidinium (FA) composition in MA1xFAxPbI3 (x = 0–1), and compared the structure and density of the intragrain planar defects with device performance, otherwise keeping the device nominally the same. We found that charge carrier lifetime, open-circuit voltage deficit and current density–voltage hysteresis correlate empirically with the density and structure of {111}c planar defects (x = 0.5–1) and {112}t twin boundaries (x = 0–0.1). The best performance parameters were found when essentially no intragrain planar defects were evident (x = 0.2). Similarly, reducing the density of {111}c planar defects through MASCN vapour treatment of FAPbI3 (x ≈ 1) also improved performance. These observations suggest that intragrain defect control can provide an important route for improving perovskite solar cell performance, in addition to well-established parameters such as grain boundaries and interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-632
Number of pages11
JournalNature Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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