Mesoporous SnO2 Nanoparticle-Based Electron Transport Layer for Perovskite Solar Cells

ULLAH, Sami – FARAZ, Muhammad Ud Din – KHAN, Kasi Jafar – KHAN, Kasi Ajab – VÉGSÖ, Karol – KOTLÁR, Mário – MIČUŠÍK, Matej – JERGEL, Matej – NÁDAŽDY, Vojtech – ŠIFFALOVIČ, Peter – MAJKOVÁ, Eva – FAKHARUDDIN, Azhar

In ACS Applied Nano Materials. Vol. 5, iss. 6 (2022)


A perovskite solar cell (PSC) featuring a mesoporous architecture can facilitate perovskite layer formation over a large area via increasing the number of heterogeneous nucleation sites. The morphology of the electron transport layer (ETL) and its interface with the perovskite layer is one of the key factors to boost the performance of a PSC. Tin dioxide (SnO2) is considered as a promising ETL in PSCs owing to its high carrier mobility, good transmittance, deep conduction band level, and efficient photoelectron extraction. Generally, the mesoporous SnO2 (m-SnO2) ETL has a higher surface-to-volume ratio compared to a compact SnO2 layer. Herein, we report on an m-SnO2 ETL prepared by anodizing a metallic tin film on a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate in NaOH solution under an ambient atmosphere. In particular, we developed a bilayer architecture of the m-SnO2 ETL based on the fabrication of two consecutive m-SnO2 layers. The morphology of each layer was controlled by varying the anodization voltage and time at a constant solution concentration during the growth process. This unique approach enabled the deposition of an m-SnO2 ETL with sufficient coverage of the FTO substrate, which is difficult to achieve with a single layer of m-SnO2. In particular, the scanning electron and atomic force microscopy analyses confirmed that the m-SnO2 layer covers completely the FTO substrate. The device fabricated with this bilayer m-SnO2 ETL achieved a 27% improvement in power conversion efficiency compared to that with a single layer of m-SnO2.