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Tailoring Surface Composition of Thin-Film Perovskite for Enhanced Stability and Device Performance

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Perovskite halides (e.g. CH3NH3PbI3 or MAPbI3) are a new class of light absorbers with exceptional and unparalleled progress in solar cell performance. A perovskite is any material with a specific ABX3 crystal structure, wherein an organic based cation is A, a metal cation is B, and a divalent halide anion is X. Work on solar cells using these perovskite materials has advanced rapidly as a result of the material’s excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities, and lifetimes that result in high device efficiency with low-cost, industry-scalable technology. However, this potential for low cost and scalability requires overcoming barriers hindering the commercialization of perovskite devices related to perovskite stability, efficiency, and environmental compatibility. NREL researchers have made significant technical contributions within six areas critical to developing commercialized perovskite devices, which include increases in film efficiency and stability and innovations in perovskite film deposition methods, film chemistry, hole and electron extraction layer engineering, and device architecture.


To improve upon the stability issues MAPbI3 perovskites have with moisture and elevated temperatures, NREL researchers have developed a method to tailor the surface composition of thin-film MAPbI3 perovskites. This novel method involves annealing the surface of a MAPbI3 film that has been treated with an isopropanol solution of MABr to form a surface layer of an I-Br mixed perovskite (MAPbI3-XBrX). This MABr-treated perovskite has been demonstrated through ultraviolet photon spectroscopy (UPS) and current-voltage (I-V) curves to have a shifted valence band position of 30-60-meV with respect to the standard MAPbI3 film and to significantly increase the VOC of MABr-treated films.

This technology is within the Film Efficiency and the Film Stability groups of NREL’s perovskite portfolio. For further information regarding NREL's broader perovskite portfolio, please visit NREL's Perovskite Patent Portfolio website.

The Film Efficiency group consists of film deposition methods, chemistry improvements, and engineering of device layer and architecture to push commercial perovskite device efficiencies to 20% and beyond.

The Film Stability group comprises technologies that improve perovskite devices’ resistance to environmental factors that degrade device performance over time. These technologies include methods of depositing perovskite films, encapsulant coatings, and novel film chemistries.

  • Increased VOC
  • Shifts valence band position
  • Enhanced quality
Applications and Industries
  • Photovoltaics
  • Perovskites
More Information

For further information on the status of the pending PCT application, please contact Bill Hadley.

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
NREL ROI 15-40PrototypeAvailable01/26/201701/26/2017

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To: Bill Hadley<>