Recently, a new seeding growth approach for perovskite thin films is reported to significantly enhance the device performance of perovskite solar cells. This work unveils the intermediate structures and the corresponding growth kinetics during conversion to perovskite crystal thin films assisted by seeding PbS nanocrystals (NCs), using time-resolved grazing-incidence X-ray scattering. Through analyses of time-resolved crystal formation kinetics obtained from synchrotron X-rays with a fast subsecond probing time resolution, an important “catalytic” role of the seed-like PbS NCs is clearly elucidated. The perovskite precursor-capped PbS NCs are found to not only accelerate the nucleation of a highly oriented intermediate phase, but also catalyze the conversion of the intermediate phase into perovskite crystals with a reduced activation energy Ea = 47 (±5) kJ mol−1, compared to 145 (±38) kJ mol−1 for the pristine perovskite thin film. The reduced Ea is attributed to a designated crystal lattice alignment of the perovskite nanocrystals with perovskite cubic crystals; the pivotal heterointerface alignment of the perovskite crystals coordinated by the Pb NCs leads to an improved film surface morphology with less pinholes and enhanced crystal texture and thermal stability. These together contribute to the significantly improved photovoltaic performance of the corresponding devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics