Recently, solution-processable organic-inorganic metal halide perovskites have come to the fore as a result of their high power-conversion efficiencies (PCE) in photovoltaics, exceeding 17%. To attain reproducibility in the performance, one of the critical factors is the processing conditions of the perovskite film, which directly influences the photophysical properties and hence the device performance. Here we study the effect of annealing parameters on the crystal structure of the perovskite films and correlate these changes with its photophysical properties. We find that the crystal formation is kinetically driven by the annealing atmosphere, time and temperature. Annealing in air produces an improved crystallinity and large grain domains as compared to nitrogen. Lower photoluminescence quantum efficiency (PLQE) and shorter photoluminescence (PL) lifetimes are observed for nitrogen annealed perovskite films as compared to the air-annealed counterparts. We note that the limiting nonradiative pathways (i.e., maximizing PLQE) is important for obtaining the highest device efficiency. This indicates a critical impact of the atmosphere upon crystallization and the ultimate device performance.
Keywords: crystal symmetry; electronic disorder; organic−inorganic; perovskite solar cell; photovoltaic; thermal annealing.