In situ Investigation of the Effect of Solvation State of Lead Iodide and the Influence of Different Cations and Halides on the Two-Step Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cells Formation

  • Dounya Barrit

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Perovskite solar cells have garnered significant interest thanks to the impressive rise of their efficiency over the last few years to a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 25.2% despite being processable using cheap and potentially high-throughput solution coating techniques. Using the two-step conversion process high-quality perovskite films with high quality and uniformity can be produced, however, this process still needs a deeper and fundamental understanding. This thesis has shed light on the ink-to-solid conversion during the two-step solution process of hybrid perovskite formulations. We demonstrated that the conversion of PbI2 to perovskite is largely dictated by the state of the PbI2 precursor film in terms of its solvated states. We used several in situ diagnostic measurments such as grazing incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering (GIWAXS), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D), and optical reflectance and absorbance all performed during spin coating, to monitor the nucleation and growth of crystalline phases, the mass deposition at the solid-liquid interface and the rigidity as well as the solution thinning behavior and the changes in optical absorbance of the precursor and perovskite. We compare conversion behaviors from different lead states by using methylammonium iodide (MAI), formamidinium iodide (FAI), and/or mixtures of halides (I, Br) and show that conversion can occur spontaneously and quite rapidly at room temperature without requiring further thermal annealing. We confirm this by demonstrating improvements in the morphology, microstructure and optoelectronics properties of the resulting perovskite films, as well as their impact on the PCE of solar cells using complimentary measurements such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and with steady-state photoluminescence.
Date of AwardOct 15 2019
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorThomas Anthopoulos (Supervisor)


  • hybrid perovskite solar cells
  • two-step conversion
  • in situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering
  • solution processing
  • high performance
  • quartz-crystal microbalance dissipatio

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