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Methods for Producing Perovskite Halide Films

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.


NREL scientists have developed a novel two-step process to prepare formamidinium lead iodide (FAPbI3) perovskite solar cells that—when compared to methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite devices—have a 0.1-eV lower bandgap and an improved photocurrent density. This novel process involves preparing a MAPbI3 film through an existing deposition method (e.g., atomic layer deposition, chemical vapor deposition, or physical vapor deposition) and then heating this film under formamidinium gas to replace the existing methlyammonium with formamidinium following an aminium displacement reaction. In addition, this two-step process promises a general approach for producing formamidinium-based perovskites.

This technology is within the Film Chemistry and Film Efficiency 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 Chemistry category consists of alternative film chemistries to the common methylammonium lead halide (CH3NH3PbI3) perovskite devices. These alternative film compositions have been shown to improve performance of perovskite films, including increased stability and efficiency, and to enable perovskite use in alternative mediums such as quantum dots.

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

  • 0.1-eV lower bandgap than MAPbI3 films
  • Promises a general approach for FA-based perovskites
Applications and Industries
  • Perovskites
  • Photovoltaics
More Information

For further information on the provisional patent application, please contact Bill Hadley.

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
NREL ROI 15-105PrototypeAvailable01/26/201701/26/2017

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To: Bill Hadley<>