Interfacial charge-transfer doping of metal halide perovskites for high performance photovoltaics

Nakita K. Noel, Severin N. Habisreutinger, Alba Pellaroque, Federico Pulvirenti, Bernard Wenger, Fengyu Zhang, Yen Hung Lin, Obadiah G. Reid, Johannes Leisen, Yadong Zhang, Stephen Barlow, Seth R. Marder, Antoine Kahn, Henry J. Snaith, Craig B. Arnold, Barry P. Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The remarkable optoelectronic properties of metal halide perovskites have generated intense research interest over the last few years. The ability to control and manipulate the crystallisation and stoichiometry of perovskite thin-films has allowed for impressive strides in the development of highly efficient perovskite solar cells. However, being able to effectively modify the interfaces of metal halide perovskites, and to controllably p- or n-type dope the surfaces, may be key to further improvements in the efficiency and long-term stability of these devices. In this study, we use surface doping of the mixed-cation, mixed-halide perovskite FA0.85MA0.15Pb(I0.85Br0.15)3 (FA-formamidinium; MA-methylammonium) to improve the hole extraction from the perovskite solar cell. By treating the surface of the perovskite film with a strongly oxidizing molybdenum tris(dithiolene) complex, we achieve a shift in the work function that is indicative of p-doping, and a twofold increase in the total conductivity throughout the film. We probe the associated interfacial chemistry through photoelectron and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies and confirm that charge-transfer occurs between the perovskite and dopant complex. The resulting p-doped interface constitutes a homojunction with increased hole-selectivity. With charge-selective layers, we show that this surface doping enhances the device performance of perovskite solar cells resulting in steady-state efficiencies approaching 21%. Finally, we demonstrate that a surface treatment with this dopant produces the same effect as the commonly employed additive 4-tert butylpyridine (tBP), allowing us to achieve "tBP-free" devices with steady-state efficiencies of over 20%, and enhanced thermal stability as compared to devices processed using tBP. Our findings therefore demonstrate that molecular doping is a feasible route to tune and control the surface properties of metal halide perovskites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3063-3073
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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