The Advancement of Perovskite Solar Cells with SnO2 Nanoparticles

When it comes to electron transport layers in perovskite solar cells (PSCs), SnO2 has been a popular choice due to its high transparency, electron mobility, and band alignment. However, the use of SnO2 in PSCs prepared through chemical bath deposition (CBD) comes with its own set of challenges. The defects that form in the material during CBD can lead to trap states near the conduction band, causing carrier recombination at the SnO2/perovskite interface.

Challenges in Defect Passivation

Several methods have been proposed to address the defects in SnO2, with thermal annealing and interface modification being the most common approaches. However, these methods often require high-temperature treatment for extended periods, making them unsuitable for flexible substrates and energy-intensive. Seeking to overcome these challenges, a team led by Prof. Xuewen Wang at the Center of Femtosecond Laser Manufacturing for Advanced Materials and Devices developed a novel approach known as photoexcitation-induced passivation (PiP) for SnO2 nanoparticle-based ETLs.

The PiP strategy involves using a high-power femtosecond laser and a polygon scanning head to induce passivation in SnO2. With scanning speeds of over 100 m s-1, the laser system can quickly anneal large samples, making the process more efficient than traditional heating methods. Through high-resolution transmission electron microscope analyses, the researchers found that PiP transforms amorphous SnO2 into a crystalline phase, improving its crystallinity and defect passivation.

According to the team’s findings, the PiP technique is not limited to specific perovskite absorber layers, demonstrating its versatility. By applying PiP to two representative perovskite-based PSCs, the team achieved impressive power conversion efficiencies of 24.14% and 22.75%, respectively. Furthermore, the researchers successfully fabricated perovskite solar modules with six subcells connected in series, achieving a PCE of 20.26%.

Scalability and Commercialization

The success of the PiP technique in improving the performance and stability of different types of PSCs and PSMs signals a significant step towards the commercialization of efficient, low-temperature manufacturing of perovskite solar cells. Prof. Wang emphasizes the universality and scalability of the PiP approach, highlighting its potential impact on the development of next-generation solar technologies.

The development of the photoexcitation-induced passivation strategy for SnO2 nanoparticle-based ETLs represents a significant advancement in the field of perovskite solar cells. By addressing the limitations of traditional defect passivation methods, the PiP technique offers a promising pathway towards enhancing the efficiency and stability of PSCs and accelerating their commercialization.


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