Solvent-Mediated Crystallization of CH3NH3SnI3 Films for Heterojunction Depleted Perovskite Solar Cells

J Am Chem Soc. 2015 Sep 9;137(35):11445-52. doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b06658. Epub 2015 Aug 27.


Organo-lead halide perovskite solar cells have gained enormous significance and have now achieved power conversion efficiencies of ∼20%. However, the potential toxicity of lead in these systems raises environmental concerns for widespread deployment. Here we investigate solvent effects on the crystallization of the lead-free methylammonium tin triiodide (CH3NH3SnI3) perovskite films in a solution growth process. Highly uniform, pinhole-free perovskite films are obtained from a dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solution via a transitional SnI2·3DMSO intermediate phase. This high-quality perovskite film enables the realization of heterojunction depleted solar cells based on mesoporous TiO2 layer but in the absence of any hole-transporting material with an unprecedented photocurrent up to 21 mA cm(-2). Charge extraction and transient photovoltage decay measurements reveal high carrier densities in the CH3NH3SnI3 perovskite device which are one order of magnitude larger than CH3NH3PbI3-based devices but with comparable recombination lifetimes in both devices. The relatively high background dark carrier density of the Sn-based perovskite is responsible for the lower photovoltaic efficiency in comparison to the Pb-based analogues. These results provide important progress toward achieving improved perovskite morphology control in realizing solution-processed highly efficient lead-free perovskite solar cells.