Publications


Bimolecular recombination in methylammonium lead triiodide perovskite is an inverse absorption process.

Nature communications 9 (2018) 293-

CL Davies, MR Filip, JB Patel, TW Crothers, C Verdi, AD Wright, RL Milot, F Giustino, MB Johnston, LM Herz

Photovoltaic devices based on metal halide perovskites are rapidly improving in efficiency. Once the Shockley-Queisser limit is reached, charge-carrier extraction will be limited only by radiative bimolecular recombination of electrons with holes. Yet, this fundamental process, and its link with material stoichiometry, is still poorly understood. Here we show that bimolecular charge-carrier recombination in methylammonium lead triiodide perovskite can be fully explained as the inverse process of absorption. By correctly accounting for contributions to the absorption from excitons and electron-hole continuum states, we are able to utilise the van Roosbroeck-Shockley relation to determine bimolecular recombination rate constants from absorption spectra. We show that the sharpening of photon, electron and hole distribution functions significantly enhances bimolecular charge recombination as the temperature is lowered, mirroring trends in transient spectroscopy. Our findings provide vital understanding of band-to-band recombination processes in this hybrid perovskite, which comprise direct, fully radiative transitions between thermalized electrons and holes.


Hybrid Perovskites: Prospects for Concentrator Solar Cells

Advanced Science (2018)

Q Lin, Z Wang, HJ Snaith, MB Johnston, LM Herz

© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Perovskite solar cells have shown a meteoric rise of power conversion efficiency and a steady pace of improvements in their stability of operation. Such rapid progress has triggered research into approaches that can boost efficiencies beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit stipulated for a single-junction cell under normal solar illumination conditions. The tandem solar cell architecture is one concept here that has recently been successfully implemented. However, the approach of solar concentration has not been sufficiently explored so far for perovskite photovoltaics, despite its frequent use in the area of inorganic semiconductor solar cells. Here, the prospects of hybrid perovskites are assessed for use in concentrator solar cells. Solar cell performance parameters are theoretically predicted as a function of solar concentration levels, based on representative assumptions of charge-carrier recombination and extraction rates in the device. It is demonstrated that perovskite solar cells can fundamentally exhibit appreciably higher energy-conversion efficiencies under solar concentration, where they are able to exceed the Shockley-Queisser limit and exhibit strongly elevated open-circuit voltages. It is therefore concluded that sufficient material and device stability under increased illumination levels will be the only significant challenge to perovskite concentrator solar cell applications.


Photocurrent Spectroscopy of Perovskite Solar Cells Over a Wide Temperature Range from 15 to 350 K.

The journal of physical chemistry letters 9 (2018) 263-268

JB Patel, Q Lin, O Zadvorna, CL Davies, LM Herz, MB Johnston

Solar cells based on metal halide perovskite thin films show great promise for energy generation in a range of environments from terrestrial installations to space applications. Here we assess the device characteristics of the prototypical perovskite solar cells based on methylammonium lead triiodide (CH3NH3PbI3) over a broad temperature range from 15 to 350 K (-258 to 77 °C). For these devices, we observe a peak in the short-circuit current density and open-circuit voltage at 200 K (-73 °C) with decent operation maintained up to 350 K. We identify the clear signature of crystalline PbI2 contributing directly to the low-temperature photocurrent spectra, showing that PbI2 plays an active role (beyond passivation) in CH3NH3PbI3 solar cells. Finally we observe a blue-shift in the photocurrent spectrum with respect to the absorption spectrum at low temperature (15 K), allowing us to extract a lower limit on the exciton binding energy of 9.1 meV for CH3NH3PbI3.


Controlling Nucleation and Growth of Metal Halide Perovskite Thin Films for High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells.

Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) 13 (2017)

N Sakai, Z Wang, VM Burlakov, J Lim, D McMeekin, S Pathak, HJ Snaith

Metal halide perovskite thin films can be crystallized via a broad range of solution-based routes. However, the quality of the final films is strongly dependent upon small changes in solution composition and processing parameters. Here, this study demonstrates that a fractional substitution of PbCl2 with PbI2 in the 3CH3 NH3 I:PbCl2 mixed-halide starting solution has a profound influence upon the ensuing thin-film crystallization. The presence of PbI2 in the precursor induces a uniform distribution of regular quadrilateral-shaped CH3 NH3 PbI3 perovskite crystals in as-cast films, which subsequently grow to form pinhole-free perovskite films with highly crystalline domains. With this new formulation of 3CH3 NH3 I:0.98PbCl2 :0.02PbI2 , this study achieves a 19.1% current-voltage measured power conversion efficiency and a 17.2% stabilized power output in regular planar heterojunction solar cells.


Ultrahigh magnetic field spectroscopy reveals the band structure of the three-dimensional topological insulator Bi2Se3

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 96 (2017) ARTN 121111

A Miyata, Z Yang, A Surrente, O Drachenko, DK Maude, O Portugall, LB Duffy, T Hesjedal, P Plochocka, RJ Nicholas


The entangled triplet pair state in acene and heteroacene materials.

Nature communications 8 (2017) 15953-

CK Yong, AJ Musser, SL Bayliss, S Lukman, H Tamura, O Bubnova, RK Hallani, A Meneau, R Resel, M Maruyama, S Hotta, LM Herz, D Beljonne, JE Anthony, J Clark, H Sirringhaus

Entanglement of states is one of the most surprising and counter-intuitive consequences of quantum mechanics, with potent applications in cryptography and computing. In organic materials, one particularly significant manifestation is the spin-entangled triplet-pair state, which mediates the spin-conserving fission of one spin-0 singlet exciton into two spin-1 triplet excitons. Despite long theoretical and experimental exploration, the nature of the triplet-pair state and inter-triplet interactions have proved elusive. Here we use a range of organic semiconductors that undergo singlet exciton fission to reveal the photophysical properties of entangled triplet-pair states. We find that the triplet pair is bound with respect to free triplets with an energy that is largely material independent (∼30 meV). During its lifetime, the component triplets behave cooperatively as a singlet and emit light through a Herzberg-Teller-type mechanism, resulting in vibronically structured photoluminescence. In photovoltaic blends, charge transfer can occur from the bound triplet pairs with >100% photon-to-charge conversion efficiency.


Polarisation-controlled single photon emission at high temperatures from InGaN quantum dots.

Nanoscale 9 (2017) 9421-9427

T Wang, TJ Puchtler, T Zhu, JC Jarman, LP Nuttall, RA Oliver, RA Taylor

Solid-state single photon sources with polarisation control operating beyond the Peltier cooling barrier of 200 K are desirable for a variety of applications in quantum technology. Using a non-polar InGaN system, we report the successful realisation of single photon emission with a g(2)(0) of 0.21, a high polarisation degree of 0.80, a fixed polarisation axis determined by the underlying crystallography, and a GHz repetition rate with a radiative lifetime of 357 ps at 220 K in semiconductor quantum dots. The temperature insensitivity of these properties, together with the simple planar epitaxial growth method and absence of complex device geometries, demonstrates that fast single photon emission with polarisation control can be achieved in solid-state quantum dots above the Peltier temperature threshold, making this system a potential candidate for future on-chip applications in integrated systems.


Investigating the Role of 4-Tert Butylpyridine in Perovskite Solar Cells

ADVANCED ENERGY MATERIALS 7 (2017) ARTN 1601079

SN Habisreutinger, NK Noel, HJ Snaith, RJ Nicholas


Crystallization Kinetics and Morphology Control of Formamidinium-Cesium Mixed-Cation Lead Mixed-Halide Perovskite via Tunability of the Colloidal Precursor Solution.

Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) 29 (2017)

DP McMeekin, Z Wang, W Rehman, F Pulvirenti, JB Patel, NK Noel, MB Johnston, SR Marder, LM Herz, HJ Snaith

The meteoric rise of the field of perovskite solar cells has been fueled by the ease with which a wide range of high-quality materials can be fabricated via simple solution processing methods. However, to date, little effort has been devoted to understanding the precursor solutions, and the role of additives such as hydrohalic acids upon film crystallization and final optoelectronic quality. Here, a direct link between the colloids concentration present in the [HC(NH2 )2 ]0.83 Cs0.17 Pb(Br0.2 I0.8 )3 precursor solution and the nucleation and growth stages of the thin film formation is established. Using dynamic light scattering analysis, the dissolution of colloids over a time span triggered by the addition of hydrohalic acids is monitored. These colloids appear to provide nucleation sites for the perovskite crystallization, which critically impacts morphology, crystal quality, and optoelectronic properties. Via 2D X-ray diffraction, highly ordered and textured crystals for films prepared from solutions with lower colloidal concentrations are observed. This increase in material quality allows for a reduction in microstrain along with a twofold increase in charge-carrier mobilities leading to values exceeding 20 cm2 V-1 s-1 . Using a solution with an optimized colloidal concentration, devices that reach current-voltage measured power conversion efficiency of 18.8% and stabilized efficiency of 17.9% are fabricated.


Monolithic Wide Band Gap Perovskite/Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells with Organic Recombination Layers

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 121 (2017) 27256-27262

R Sheng, MT Horantner, Z Wang, Y Jiang, W Zhang, A Agosti, S Huang, X Hao, A Ho-Baillie, M Green, HJ Snaith


Reproducible planar heterojunction solar cells based on one-step solution-processed methylammonium lead halide perovskites

Chemistry of Materials 29 (2017) 462-473

S Bai, N Sakai, W Zhang, Z Wang, JTW Wang, F Gao, HJ Snaith

© 2016 American Chemical Society. Metal halide perovskites have been demonstrated as one of the most promising materials for low-cost and high-performance photovoltaic applications. However, due to the susceptible crystallization process of perovskite films on planar substrates and the high sensitivity of the physical and optoelectronic nature of the internal interfaces within the devices, researchers in different laboratories still experience poor reproducibility in fabricating efficient perovskite solar cells with planar heterojunction device structures. In this methods paper, we present detailed information on the reagents, equipment, and procedures for the fabrication of planar perovskite solar cells in both “regular” n-i-p and “inverted” p-i-n architectures based on one-step solution-processed methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI 3 ) perovskite films. We discuss key parameters affecting the crystallization of perovskite and the device interfaces. This methods paper will provide a guideline for the reproducible fabrication of planar heterojunction solar cells based on MAPbI 3 perovskite films. We believe that the shared experience on MA-based perovskite films and planar solar cells will be also useful for the optimization process of perovskites with varied compositions and other emerging perovskite-based optoelectronic devices.


V-Shaped Hole-Transporting TPD Dimers Containing Troger's Base Core

JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 121 (2017) 10267-10274

T Braukyla, N Sakai, M Daskeviciene, V Jankauskas, E Kamarauskas, R Komskis, T Malinauskas, S Jursenas, HJ Snaith, V Getautis


Band-Tail Recombination in Hybrid Lead Iodide Perovskite

ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS 27 (2017) ARTN 1700860

AD Wright, RL Milot, GE Eperon, HJ Snaith, MB Johnston, LM Herz


Unraveling the Exciton Binding Energy and the Dielectric Constant in Single-Crystal Methylammonium Lead Triiodide Perovskite.

The journal of physical chemistry letters 8 (2017) 1851-1855

Z Yang, A Surrente, K Galkowski, N Bruyant, DK Maude, AA Haghighirad, HJ Snaith, P Plochocka, RJ Nicholas

We have accurately determined the exciton binding energy and reduced mass of single crystals of methylammonium lead triiodide using magneto-reflectivity at very high magnetic fields. The single crystal has excellent optical properties with a narrow line width of ∼3 meV for the excitonic transitions and a 2s transition that is clearly visible even at zero magnetic field. The exciton binding energy of 16 ± 2 meV in the low-temperature orthorhombic phase is almost identical to the value found in polycrystalline samples, crucially ruling out any possibility that the exciton binding energy depends on the grain size. In the room-temperature tetragonal phase, an upper limit for the exciton binding energy of 12 ± 4 meV is estimated from the evolution of 1s-2s splitting at high magnetic field.


Spatially resolved studies of the phases and morphology of methylammonium and formamidinium lead tri-halide perovskites.

Nanoscale 9 (2017) 3222-3230

K Galkowski, AA Mitioglu, A Surrente, Z Yang, DK Maude, P Kossacki, GE Eperon, JT-W Wang, HJ Snaith, P Plochocka, RJ Nicholas

The family of organic-inorganic tri-halide perovskites including MA (MethylAmmonium)PbI3, MAPbI3-xClx, FA (FormAmidinium)PbI3 and FAPbBr3 are having a tremendous impact on the field of photovoltaic cells due to the combination of their ease of deposition and high energy conversion efficiencies. Device performance, however, is known to be still significantly affected by the presence of inhomogeneities. Here we report on a study of temperature dependent micro-photoluminescence which shows a strong spatial inhomogeneity related to the presence of microcrystalline grains, which can be both bright and dark. In all of the tri-iodide based materials there is evidence that the tetragonal to orthorhombic phase transition observed around 160 K does not occur uniformly across the sample with domain formation related to the underlying microcrystallite grains, some of which remain in the high temperature, tetragonal, phase even at very low temperatures. At low temperature the tetragonal domains can be significantly influenced by local defects in the layers or the introduction of residual levels of chlorine in mixed halide layers or dopant atoms such as aluminium. We see that improvements in room temperature energy conversion efficiency appear to be directly related to reductions in the proportions of the layer which remain in the tetragonal phase at low temperature. In FAPbBr3 a more macroscopic domain structure is observed with large numbers of grains forming phase correlated regions.


Dopant-Free Planar n-i-p Perovskite Solar Cells with Steady-State Efficiencies Exceeding 18%

ACS ENERGY LETTERS 2 (2017) 622-628

SN Habisreutinger, B Wenger, HJ Snaith, RJ Nicholas


Carbazole-based enamine: Low-cost and efficient hole transporting material for perovskite solar cells

NANO ENERGY 32 (2017) 551-557

M Daskeviciene, S Paek, Z Wang, T Malinauskas, G Jokubauskaite, K Rakstys, KT Cho, A Magomedov, V Jankauskas, S Ahmad, HJ Snaith, V Getautis, MK Nazeeruddin


A low viscosity, low boiling point, clean solvent system for the rapid crystallisation of highly specular perovskite films

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 10 (2017) 145-152

NK Noel, SN Habisreutinger, B Wenger, MT Klug, MT Horantner, MB Johnston, RJ Nicholas, DT Moore, HJ Snaith


Optical polarization in mono and bilayer MoS2

CURRENT APPLIED PHYSICS 17 (2017) 1153-1157

Y Park, N Li, CCS Chan, BPL Reid, RA Taylor, H Im


Theoretical and experimental analysis of radiative recombination lifetimes in nonpolar InGaN/GaN quantum dots

PHYSICA STATUS SOLIDI B-BASIC SOLID STATE PHYSICS 254 (2017) ARTN 1600675

SK Patra, T Wang, TJ Puchtler, T Zhu, RA Oliver, RA Taylor, S Schulz

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