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Since their initial development in 2009, perovskite solar cells have emerged as one of the most promising new photovoltaic technologies. Power conversion efficiencies have increased from less than 4% in 2009 to nearly 20% today, making these devices increasingly competitive with more traditional polycrystalline silicon, CdTe, and CIGS technology. Our research efforts in this area span a diverse range of topics, and our current work is focused on improving the performance of perovskite solar cells, investigating perovskite degradation mechanisms using in situ spectroscopy and in situ diffraction techniques, and the synthesis of novel hole- and electron-transport materials.

Planar Heterojunction Devices using ZnO Electron-Transport Layers

The original designs of perovskite solar cells were derived from those of DSSCs, and utilized mesoporous TiO2 electron-transport layers. Our earliest work in this area demonstrated that a compact layer of ZnO nanoparticles could be used to replace the mesoporous TiO2, and that the resulting planar heterojunction devices worked extremely well [Nature Photon., 2014]. Subsequent work investigated the impact of perovskite layer thickness on device efficiency, and revealed that the high efficiency of these devices results from a good match between the light absorption depth and the charge carrier diffusion length [J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014].