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Hybrid Perovskite Bulk Photovoltaic Effect Device

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 researchers have developed novel bulk photovoltaic effect (BPE) perovskite device architecture that leverages their identification of MAPbI3 – as demonstrated through Rayleigh analysis and piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) results – as a ferroelectric material with nanoscale domain ordering. This novel BPE perovskite device architecture comprises a single crystal of organic-inorganic MAPbI3 that has an oriented dipole induced through application of an external electric field.  In addition, the resulting device facilitates charge separation that is not reliant upon a p-n junction and has a 2.9 mV increase in the short-circuit current over a typical single crystal MAPbI3 devices.  Moreover, because BPE devices are capable of generating voltages greater than their bandgaps, this architecture has the potential to significantly increase the power conversion efficiency of perovskite photovoltaic devices.

This technology is within the Device Architecture category of NREL’s perovskite portfolio. For further information regarding NREL’s broader perovskite portfolio, please visit NREL’s Perovskite Portfolio website.

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.

  • Low-cost device architecture
  • Does not rely on junctions for charge separation
  • Stable ferroelectric domains
  • Increased short-circuit current and voltage
Applications and Industries
  • Perovskites
  • Bulk Photovoltaic Effect Devices
  • Photovoltaics
More Information

For further information on this technology’s provisional filing, please contact Bill Hadley.

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
ROI 16-133PrototypeAvailable03/28/201703/28/2017

Contact NREL About This Technology

To: Bill Hadley<>