Can Ferroelectric Polarization Explain the High Performance of Hybrid Halide Perovskite Solar Cells?

Tejas Sherkar, L. Jan Anton Koster

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The power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic cells based on the use of hybrid halide perovskites, CH3NH3PbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I), now exceeds 20%. Recently, it was suggested that this high performance originates from the presence of ferroelectricity in the perovskite, which is hypothesized to lower charge recombination in the device. Here, we investigate and quantify the influence of mesoscale ferroelectric polarization on the device performance of perovskite solar cells. We implement a 3D drift diffusion model to describe the solar cell operation. To account for the mesoscale ferroelectricity, we incorporate domains defined by polarization strength, P, in 3D space, forming different polarization landscapes or microstructures. Study of microstructures with highly-ordered polarized domains shows that charge transport and recombination in the solar cell depends significantly on the polarization landscape viz. the orientation of domain boundaries and the size of domains. In the case of the microstructure with random correlated polarization, a realistic scenario, we find indication of the existence of channels for efficient charge transport in the device which leads to lowering of charge recombination, as evidenced by the high fill factor (FF). However, the high open-circuit voltage (VOC), which is typical of high performance perovskite solar cells, is unlikely to be explained by the presence of ferroelectric polarization in the perovskite.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-338
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2016

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