Effect of Electron-Transport Material on Light-Induced Degradation of Inverted Planar Junction Perovskite Solar Cells

Azat F. Akbulatov, Lyubov A. Frolova, Monroe P. Griffin, Ioana R. Gearba, Andrei Dolocan, David A. Vanden Bout, Sergey Tsarev, Eugene A. Katz, Alexander F. Shestakov, Keith J. Stevenson, Pavel A. Troshin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a systematic study of the influence of electron-transport materials on the operation stability of the inverted perovskite solar cells under both laboratory indoor and the natural outdoor conditions in the Negev desert. It is shown that all devices incorporating a Phenyl C61 Butyric Acid Methyl ester ([60]PCBM) layer undergo rapid degradation under illumination without exposure to oxygen and moisture. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry depth profiling reveals that volatile products from the decomposition of methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) films diffuse through the [60]PCBM layer, go all the way toward the top metal electrode, and induce its severe corrosion with the formation of an interfacial AgI layer. On the contrary, alternative electron-transport material based on the perylendiimide derivative provides good isolation for the MAPbI3 films preventing their decomposition and resulting in significantly improved device operation stability. The obtained results strongly suggest that the current approach to design inverted perovskite solar cells should evolve with respect to the replacement of the commonly used fullerene-based electron-transport layers with other types of materials (e.g., functionalized perylene diimides). It is believed that these findings pave a way toward substantial improvements in the stability of the perovskite solar cells, which are essential for successful commercialization of this photovoltaic technology.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1700476
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number19
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2017


  • PCBM
  • interdiffusion
  • perovskite solar cells
  • photochemical degradation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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