Phase Transition Control for High Performance Ruddlesden–Popper Perovskite Solar Cells

Xu Zhang, Rahim Munir, Zhuo Xu, Yucheng Liu, Hsinhan Tsai, Wanyi Nie, Jianbo Li, Tianqi Niu, Detlef M. Smilgies, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Aditya D. Mohite, Kui Zhao*, Aram Amassian, Shengzhong Frank Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Scopus citations


Ruddlesden–Popper reduced-dimensional hybrid perovskite (RDP) semiconductors have attracted significant attention recently due to their promising stability and excellent optoelectronic properties. Here, the RDP crystallization mechanism in real time from liquid precursors to the solid film is investigated, and how the phase transition kinetics influences phase purity, quantum well orientation, and photovoltaic performance is revealed. An important template-induced nucleation and growth of the desired (BA)2(MA)3Pb4I13 phase, which is achieved only via direct crystallization without formation of intermediate phases, is observed. As such, the thermodynamically preferred perpendicular crystal orientation and high phase purity are obtained. At low temperature, the formation of intermediate phases, including PbI2 crystals and solvate complexes, slows down intercalation of ions and increases nucleation barrier, leading to formation of multiple RDP phases and orientation randomness. These insights enable to obtain high quality (BA)2(MA)3Pb4I13 films with preferentially perpendicular quantum well orientation, high phase purity, smooth film surface, and improved optoelectronic properties. The resulting devices exhibit high power conversion efficiency of 12.17%. This work should help guide the perovskite community to better control Ruddlesden–Popper perovskite structure and further improve optoelectronic and solar cell devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1707166
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 24 2018


  • Ruddlesden–Popper perovskites
  • in situ diagnostics
  • phase transitions
  • solar cells
  • solution processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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