Remnant PbI2, an unforeseen necessity in high-efficiency hybrid perovskite-based solar cells?

Duyen H. Cao, Constantinos C. Stoumpos, Christos D. Malliakas, Michael J. Katz, Omar K. Farha, Joseph T. Hupp*, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


Perovskite-containing solar cells were fabricated in a two-step procedure in which PbI2is deposited via spin-coating and subsequently converted to the CH3NH3PbI3perovskite by dipping in a solution of CH3NH3I. By varying the dipping time from 5 s to 2 h, we observe that the device performance shows an unexpectedly remarkable trend. At dipping times below 15 min the current density and voltage of the device are enhanced from 10.1 mA/cm2and 933 mV (5 s) to 15.1 mA/cm2and 1036 mV (15 min). However, upon further conversion, the current density decreases to 9.7 mA/cm2and 846 mV after 2 h. Based on X-ray diffraction data, we determined that remnant PbI2is always present in these devices. Work function and dark current measurements showed that the remnant PbI2has a beneficial effect and acts as a blocking layer between the TiO2semiconductor and the perovskite itself reducing the probability of back electron transfer (charge recombination). Furthermore, we find that increased dipping time leads to an increase in the size of perovskite crystals at the perovskite-hole-transporting material interface. Overall, approximately 15 min dipping time (∼ 2% unconverted PbI2) is necessary for achieving optimal device efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number091101
JournalAPL Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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