Project 12: Highly Efficient Light to Energy Devices using Hybrid Perovskites (Dr. Gautam Gupta, ChE)

Recently, inorganic-organic (or hybrid) perovskites have emerged as a new class of materials that has the potential to meet growing  global energy demands. Hybrid perovskites have a general formula of AMX3, A is an organic cation, M is a metal, and X is a halide (Fig. 1) (1-3). e.g. CH3NH3PbI3. Since the first major breakthrough in thin-film solar cells using perovskites by the Snaith group (Oxford University) in 2012 (4), a wide variety of other proof-of-concept optoelectronic applications such as light emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, photo-catalysis, and thermoelectric devices  have been demonstrated making this a truly remarkable material system with a significant broad impact.  

 

Key Prelim data: The key enabling scientific discovery is development of a solution-based “hot-casting” deposition method for the reproducible growth of crystalline thin-films that allow us to probe the true intrinsic physical properties of hybrid perovskites that are otherwise masked by detrimental effects arising from non-reproducible synthesis approaches (5-9). The hot-casting process developed by our team (9-11), (Science 2015, Nature 2016, Nature Comm. 2016) is a one-step and relatively fast (30 sec) one-step crystallization process that will help the student achieve results in a timely manner of 10 weeks.  

The problem: In spite of the tremendous progress in the field of hybrid perovskites, a systematic structure-property investigation is lacking in the field, primarily due to the high degree of variability in composition, crystalline quality, and grain-size   reported by the community. This has led to multiple interpretations of experimental data and thus key fundamental scientific questions remain largely unresolved. The facilities available at the Advanced Micro/Nano Fabrication are critical to address the fundamental bottlenecks in the field.  

Research approach:

The student will work with the PI and a graduate student and use critical tools available in micro/nano technology and engineering center to obtain state-of-art highly efficient photovoltaic devices. The proposed time is as follows: (i) The student will be taught thin film fabrication techniques such as spin- and spray-coating in weeks 1-2. (ii) The student will be introduced to spectroscopic techniques to characterize perovskite thin films such as XRD, SEM, and UV-Vis during weeks 3 & 4. (iii) The student will focus on developing high quality perovskite thin films using various different fabricating techniques in weeks 5-7. (iv) The student will create devices using high quality perovskite thin films and demonstrate performance of the devices in weeks 8-10. The student will present poster presentation and will be a co-author in the publications as a result of his efforts.

 

References:

 

1.           J. Albero, A. M. Asiri, H. Garcia, Influence of the composition of hybrid perovskites on their performance in solar cells. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 4, 4353-4364 (2016).

2.           T. M. Brenner, D. A. Egger, L. Kronik, G. Hodes, D. Cahen, Hybrid organic—inorganic perovskites: low-cost semiconductors with intriguing charge-transport properties. Nature Reviews Materials 1, 15007 (2016).

3.           N. Klein-Kedem, D. Cahen, G. Hodes, Effects of Light and Electron Beam Irradiation on Halide Perovskites and Their Solar Cells. Accounts of Chemical Research 49, 347-354 (2016).

4.           M. M. Lee, J. Teuscher, T. Miyasaka, T. N. Murakami, H. J. Snaith, Efficient Hybrid Solar Cells Based on Meso-Superstructured Organometal Halide Perovskites. Science 338, 643-647 (2012).

5.           A. T. Mallajosyula et al., Large-area hysteresis-free perovskite solar cells via temperature controlled doctor blading under ambient environment. Applied Materials Today 3, 96-102 (2016).

6.           Hsinhan Tsai et al., High-efficiency two-dimensional Ruddlesden-Popper perovskite solar cells. Nature,  (2016).

7.           W. Nie et al., Light-activated photocurrent degradation and self-healing in perovskite solar cells. Nature Communications,  (2016).

8.           H. Tsai et al., Optimizing Composition and Morphology for Large-Grain Perovskite Solar Cells via Chemical Control. Chemistry of Materials 27, 5570-5576 (2015).

9.           W. Nie et al., High-efficiency solution-processed perovskite solar cells with millimeter-scale grains. Science 347, 522-525 (2015).

10.         W. Nie et al., Direct measurement of bulk and interface trap density in planar hybrid perovskite solar cells. ACS Energy Letters,  (2016).

11.         H. Tsai et al., High-efficiency two-dimensional Ruddlesden–Popper perovskite solar cells. Nature 536, 312-316 (2016).