Mesostructured Fullerene Electrodes for Highly Efficient n-i-p Perovskite Solar Cells

Yufei Zhong, Rahim Munir, Ahmed Hesham Balawi, Arif D. Sheikh, Liyang Yu, Ming Chun Tang, Hanlin Hu, Frédéric Laquai, Aram Amassian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Electron-transporting layers in today's state-of-the-art n-i-p organohalide perovskite solar cells are almost exclusively made of metal oxides. Here, we demonstrate a novel mesostructured fullerene-based electron-transporting material (ETM) that is crystalline, hydrophobic, and cross-linked, rendering it solvent- and heat-resistant for subsequent perovskite solar cell fabrication. The fullerene ETM is shown to enhance the structural and electronic properties of the CH3NH3PbI3 layer grown atop, reducing its Urbach energy from ∼26 to 21 meV, while also increasing crystallite size and improving texture. The resulting mesostructured n-i-p solar cells achieve reduced recombination, improved device-to-device variation, reduced hysteresis, and a power conversion efficiency above 15%, surpassing the performance of similar devices prepared using mesoporous TiO2 and well above the performance of planar heterojunction devices on amorphous or crystalline [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). This work is the first demonstration of a viable, hydrophobic, and high-performance mesostructured electron-accepting contact to work effectively in n-i-p perovskite solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1056
Number of pages8
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 11 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. A.H. Balawi and F. Laquai thank K. Vandewal and M. Baier for contributing to the setup for photothermal deflection spectroscopy (PDS). Part of this work was performed at D-line at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) at Cornell University. CHESS is supported by NSF and NIH/NIGMS via NSF Award DMR-1332208. Dr. Detlef-M. Smilgies and Dr. Ruipeng Li from CHESS are thanked for their assistance with beamline setup for the GIWAXS measurements.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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