skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Methylammonium lead iodide grain boundaries exhibit depth-dependent electrical properties

Abstract

In this paper, the nanoscale through-film and lateral photo-response and conductivity of large-grained methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI 3) thin films are studied. In perovskite solar cells (PSC), these films result in efficiencies >17%. The grain boundaries (GBs) show high resistance at the top surface of the film, and act as an impediment to photocurrent collection. However, lower resistance pathways between grains exist below the top surface of the film, indicating that there exists a depth-dependent resistance of GBs (R GB(z)). Furthermore, lateral conductivity measurements indicate that R GB(z) exhibits GB-to-GB heterogeneity. These results indicate that increased photocurrent collection along GBs is not a prerequisite for high-efficiency PSCs. Rather, better control of depth-dependent GB electrical properties, and an improvement in the homogeneity of the GB-to-GB electrical properties, must be managed to enable further improvements in PSC efficiency. Finally, these results refute the implicit assumption seen in the literature that the electrical properties of GBs, as measured at the top surface of the perovskite film, necessarily reflect the electrical properties of GBs within the thickness of the film.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [2];  [1]
  1. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, CO (United States). Material Measurement Lab., Applied Chemicals and Materials Division
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Chemistry and Nanoscience Center
  3. National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, CO (United States). Physical Measurement Lab., Applied Physics Division
  4. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). National Center for Photovoltaics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1339245
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-67690
Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692; EESNBY
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy & Environmental Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-5692
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; nanoscale; methylammonium lead iodide thin films

Citation Formats

MacDonald, Gordon A., Yang, Mengjin, Berweger, Samuel, Killgore, Jason P., Kabos, Pavel, Berry, Joseph J., Zhu, Kai, and DelRio, Frank W. Methylammonium lead iodide grain boundaries exhibit depth-dependent electrical properties. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1039/C6EE01889K.
MacDonald, Gordon A., Yang, Mengjin, Berweger, Samuel, Killgore, Jason P., Kabos, Pavel, Berry, Joseph J., Zhu, Kai, & DelRio, Frank W. Methylammonium lead iodide grain boundaries exhibit depth-dependent electrical properties. United States. doi:10.1039/C6EE01889K.
MacDonald, Gordon A., Yang, Mengjin, Berweger, Samuel, Killgore, Jason P., Kabos, Pavel, Berry, Joseph J., Zhu, Kai, and DelRio, Frank W. Fri . "Methylammonium lead iodide grain boundaries exhibit depth-dependent electrical properties". United States. doi:10.1039/C6EE01889K. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1339245.
@article{osti_1339245,
title = {Methylammonium lead iodide grain boundaries exhibit depth-dependent electrical properties},
author = {MacDonald, Gordon A. and Yang, Mengjin and Berweger, Samuel and Killgore, Jason P. and Kabos, Pavel and Berry, Joseph J. and Zhu, Kai and DelRio, Frank W.},
abstractNote = {In this paper, the nanoscale through-film and lateral photo-response and conductivity of large-grained methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) thin films are studied. In perovskite solar cells (PSC), these films result in efficiencies >17%. The grain boundaries (GBs) show high resistance at the top surface of the film, and act as an impediment to photocurrent collection. However, lower resistance pathways between grains exist below the top surface of the film, indicating that there exists a depth-dependent resistance of GBs (RGB(z)). Furthermore, lateral conductivity measurements indicate that RGB(z) exhibits GB-to-GB heterogeneity. These results indicate that increased photocurrent collection along GBs is not a prerequisite for high-efficiency PSCs. Rather, better control of depth-dependent GB electrical properties, and an improvement in the homogeneity of the GB-to-GB electrical properties, must be managed to enable further improvements in PSC efficiency. Finally, these results refute the implicit assumption seen in the literature that the electrical properties of GBs, as measured at the top surface of the perovskite film, necessarily reflect the electrical properties of GBs within the thickness of the film.},
doi = {10.1039/C6EE01889K},
journal = {Energy & Environmental Science},
number = 12,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 14 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

The emergence of perovskite solar cells
journal, July 2014

  • Green, Martin A.; Ho-Baillie, Anita; Snaith, Henry J.
  • Nature Photonics, Vol. 8, Issue 7, p. 506-514
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.134

Organometal Halide Perovskites as Visible-Light Sensitizers for Photovoltaic Cells
journal, May 2009

  • Kojima, Akihiro; Teshima, Kenjiro; Shirai, Yasuo
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 131, Issue 17, p. 6050-6051
  • DOI: 10.1021/ja809598r