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Heterojunction Perovskite Photovoltaic Devices and Methods of Making the Same

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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PDF Document PublicationPCT/US16/55154 (1,972 KB)

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.


NREL researchers have developed novel perovskite device architecture that incorporates interdigitated contact geometry comprising of alternating lateral p-n junctions across the perovskite active layer. This architecture uses the interdigitated electrode as the back contact to drive photogenerated carriers to the n- or p-type contact layers and can be constructed with either top-down or bottom-up configurations (i.e. glass/perovskite active layer/contact or glass/contact/perovskite active layer). Furthermore, this architecture maximizes photo-carrier collection, and can be implemented through direct-write, high-throughput electronic printing, or through traditional photolithograph processes. In addition, NREL researchers have used metal wires as the electrode and substrate for electron- or hole-transport layers to create threads that, when woven together, form flexible, defect-tolerant fabric with PV functionality.

This technology is within the Film Efficiency and Device Architecture categories 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 category consists of film deposition methods, chemistry improvements, and engineering of device layer and architecture that push commercial perovskite device efficiencies to 20% and beyond.

The Device Architecture category comprises new perovskite solar cell device layouts, such as interdigitated back-contact perovskite solar cell devices, that capitalize on the unique properties of the perovskite layer to create low-cost devices with improved efficiency and reliability.

  • Defect Tolerant
  • Maximizes photo-carrier collection
  • Can be constructed in either top-down or bottom-up configurations
Applications and Industries
  • Perovskites
  • Photovoltaics
More Information

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

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
NREL ROIs 15-60, 16-17PrototypeAvailable01/26/201701/26/2017

Contact NREL About This Technology

To: Bill Hadley<>