SnO2 has long been utilized as electron transport layers (ETLs) in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) due to its remarkable properties such as high transparency, high electron mobility, and favorable band alignment. However, PSCs based on chemical bath deposition (CBD)-prepared SnO2 have faced challenges due to the formation of intrinsic defects and surface defects within the SnO2 structure. These defects lead to the creation of trap states near the conduction band, causing carrier recombination at the SnO2/perovskite interface.

In response to the limitations of traditional approaches such as thermal annealing and interface modification, a groundbreaking technique known as photoexcitation-induced passivation (PiP) was developed by the Center of Femtosecond Laser Manufacturing for Advanced Materials and Devices. Led by Prof. Xuewen Wang, the team harnessed the power of a home-built femtosecond laser annealing system to passivate the defects in SnO2 nanoparticle-based ETLs. This innovative strategy aims to enhance the efficiency and stability of PSCs without the need for high-temperature treatments.

The PiP process involves ultrafast intensive excitation triggered by laser pulse energy deposition, leading to the transformation of SnO2 from the amorphous phase to the crystalline phase. This transformation significantly improves the crystallinity of SnO2, as demonstrated through high-resolution transmission electron microscope analyses conducted by the team. Moreover, other surface and optoelectronic characterization techniques revealed better defect passivation of the SnO2 film post-PiP treatment.

Researchers Nianyao Chai and Xiangyu Chen validated the generality of the PiP technique and its compatibility with various perovskite absorber layers. By fabricating representative PSCs, the team achieved impressive power conversion efficiencies (PCE) of 24.14% and 22.75%. Furthermore, the scalability of the PiP strategy was showcased through the fabrication of perovskite solar modules comprised of six subcells connected in series, yielding a PCE of 20.26%. Prof. Wang emphasized the universality and scalability of the PiP technique in enhancing the performance and stability of different PSCs and perovskite solar modules.

The successful implementation of the PiP strategy signifies a significant advancement in the field of low-temperature manufacturing of PSCs. By addressing the shortcomings of traditional approaches and offering enhanced efficiency and stability, the PiP technique paves the way for the commercialization of efficient perovskite solar cells. Prof. Xuewen Wang’s visionary research marks a crucial step towards the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies through innovative materials and manufacturing processes.


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