2D Dion-Jacobson perovskite solar cell based on MXene contacts achieves 17.47% efficiency

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Two-dimensional (2D) Dion-Jacobson (DJ) phase perovskites have sparked interest in the scientific community due to their stability against harsh environmental conditions and their competitive performance in optoelectronic applications. Solar cells based on DJ perovskites, however, have shown comparatively poor performance compared to their 3D counterparts.

Researchers at Chitkara University in India recently developed a DJ two-dimensional perovskite solar cell by implementing bandgap grading techniques and using contacts based on a functionalized two-dimensional titanium carbide known as MXene.

MXenes compounds take their name from their graphene-like morphology and are made via selective etching of certain atomic layers from a bulk crystal known as MAX. Recently, MXenes materials have shown promise for use in PV technology due to their unique optoelectronic properties, such as their large charge carrier mobility, excellent metallic conductivity, high optical transmittance, and tunable work function (WF).

“In our work, we conducted a comprehensive theoretical investigation by employing MXene contacts in conjunction with the 2D DJ perovskite (DJ-P), amalgamating the unique properties of both materials,” the research's corresponding author, Rahul Pandey, told pv magazine. “A key innovation of this research lies in the manipulation of the DJ-P layer's bandgap through compositional adjustments.

The scientists explained that the selection of an appropriate electron transport layer (ETL) and hole transport layer (HTL) is key to achieving compatible energy level alignment with the DJ-perovskite layer and helping charge carriers move smoothly through the layers and reduce recombination losses.

Through utilized bandgap grading to make the perovskite material more efficient at absorbing a wider range of wavelengths and used MXenes to improve cell stability.

The academics built the cell with an ETL made of phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) and an HTL relying on vanadium(V) oxide (V2O5). They then used two MXene materials known as Ta4C3F2 and T14N3 for the cell contacts and found the optimal thickness of the perovskite absorber was 800 nm.

“We also varied the number of inorganic layers within the (PeDA)(MA)n-1PbnI3n+1 perovskite structure,” Pandey further explained. “We then used linear, parabolic, beta, and power law grading profiles to optimize the DJ perovskite layer's composition.”

Tested under standard illumination conditions, the device achieved a power conversion efficiency of 17.47%, an open-circuit voltage of 1.05 V, a short-circuit current density of 19.6 mA cm−2, and a fill factor of 84.25%. “The results demonstrate the potential of this novel approach to revolutionize 2D-perovskite solar cell technology,” Pandey added, noting that the highest efficiency was obtained with the power law profile.

The tests also showed that the linear profile achieved an efficiency of 16.62 %, while the parabolic profile and beta profile achieved 16.62 % and 17.30 %, respectively.

The new cell concept was described in the study “Tailored grading profiles for enhanced performance in Dion-Jacobson perovskite solar cells with MXene contacts,” which was recently published in Physica B: Condensed Matter. Looking forward, the academics said they want to analyze the potential applications for these diverse grading profiles in 2D DJ-perovskite-based technologies.

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