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Article

Investigation of Well-Defined Pinholes in TiO2 Electron Selective Layers Used in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells

1
Laboratory of Molecular Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Porthansgatan 3-5, 20500 Turku, Finland
2
Department of Materials Engineering, School of Chemical & Materials Engineering, National University of Science & Technology (NUST), Sector H-12, Islamabad 44100, Pakistan
3
Department of Chemistry—Inorganic Functional Materials, Paderborn University, 33098 Paderborn, Germany
4
Physics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Porthansgatan 3-5, 20500 Turku, Finland
5
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University, P.O. Box 541, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010181
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 16 January 2020 / Accepted: 16 January 2020 / Published: 20 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanoporous Materials)
The recently introduced perovskite solar cell (PSC) technology is a promising candidate for providing low-cost energy for future demands. However, one major concern with the technology can be traced back to morphological defects in the electron selective layer (ESL), which deteriorates the solar cell performance. Pinholes in the ESL may lead to an increased surface recombination rate for holes, if the perovskite absorber layer is in contact with the fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate via the pinholes. In this work, we used sol-gel-derived mesoporous TiO2 thin films prepared by block co-polymer templating in combination with dip coating as a model system for investigating the effect of ESL pinholes on the photovoltaic performance of planar heterojunction PSCs. We studied TiO2 films with different porosities and film thicknesses, and observed that the induced pinholes only had a minor impact on the device performance. This suggests that having narrow pinholes with a diameter of about 10 nm in the ESL is in fact not detrimental for the device performance and can even, to some extent improve their performance. A probable reason for this is that the narrow pores in the ordered structure do not allow the perovskite crystals to form interconnected pathways to the underlying FTO substrate. However, for ultrathin (~20 nm) porous layers, an incomplete ESL surface coverage of the FTO layer will further deteriorate the device performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: perovskite solar cell; electron selective layer; pinhole; mesoporous TiO2; evaporation-induced self-assembly; dip coating perovskite solar cell; electron selective layer; pinhole; mesoporous TiO2; evaporation-induced self-assembly; dip coating
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MDPI and ACS Style

Masood, M.T.; Qudsia, S.; Hadadian, M.; Weinberger, C.; Nyman, M.; Ahläng, C.; Dahlström, S.; Liu, M.; Vivo, P.; Österbacka, R.; Smått, J.-H. Investigation of Well-Defined Pinholes in TiO2 Electron Selective Layers Used in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010181

AMA Style

Masood MT, Qudsia S, Hadadian M, Weinberger C, Nyman M, Ahläng C, Dahlström S, Liu M, Vivo P, Österbacka R, Smått J-H. Investigation of Well-Defined Pinholes in TiO2 Electron Selective Layers Used in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells. Nanomaterials. 2020; 10(1):181. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010181

Chicago/Turabian Style

Masood, Muhammad T., Syeda Qudsia, Mahboubeh Hadadian, Christian Weinberger, Mathias Nyman, Christian Ahläng, Staffan Dahlström, Maning Liu, Paola Vivo, Ronald Österbacka, and Jan-Henrik Smått. 2020. "Investigation of Well-Defined Pinholes in TiO2 Electron Selective Layers Used in Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells" Nanomaterials 10, no. 1: 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010181

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