Improved performance and stability of perovskite solar cells by crystal crosslinking with alkylphosphonic acid omega-ammonium chlorides
In the past few years, organic-inorganic halide perovskites have rapidly emerged as promising materials for photovoltaic applications, but simultaneously achieving high performance and long-term stability has proved challenging. Here, we show a one-step solution-processing strategy using phosphonic acid ammonium additives that results in efficient perovskite solar cells with enhanced stability. We modify the surface of methylammonium lead triiodide (CH3NH3PbI3) perovskite by spin-coating its precursor solution in the presence of butylphosphonic acid 4-ammonium chloride. Morphological, structural and elemental analyses show that the phosphonic acid ammonium additive acts as a crosslink between neighbouring grains in the perovskite structure, through strong hydrogen bonding of the -PO(OH)(2) and -NH3+ terminal groups to the perovskite surface. The additives facilitate the incorporation of the perovskite within a mesoporous TiO2 scaffold, as well as the growth of a uniform perovskite layer at the surface, enhancing the material's photovoltaic performance from 8.8 to 16.7% as well as its resistance to moisture.