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Title: Towards stable perovskite materials for photovoltaics
Author: Sutton, Rebecca J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 6635
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores a range of photoactive metal halide perovskite materials for use in photovoltaic applications. These materials are of huge interest due to their outstanding optoelectronic properties which result in high photovoltaic power conversion efficiencies. In particular, this thesis discusses perovskites with stoichiometry ABX3 where A is a singly charged cation, for example methylammonium (MA), B is predominantly lead (Pb2+), and X is iodide (I-) and/or bromide (Br-). At present the commercial applications of these materials are limited by the chemical instability of the A-site cation. In this thesis, the effect of chemical substitution of the A-site is investigated as a way to increase the stability of the perovskite material. Full replacement with the inorganic cation caesium (Cs+) is shown to significantly improve the chemical stability. However, the inorganic lead halide perovskites with ideal bandgaps for photovoltaic applications exhibit structural instability. Routes to achieve both chemical and structural stability for these perovskites are discussed. Consequently, this thesis represents pioneering work in the field of inorganic halide perovskites and will greatly assist the development of stable inorganic perovskite materials for optoelectronic applications such as tandem photovoltaics and LEDs. Chapters 1 and 2 of this thesis present the motivation for perovskite materials to be used in solar cells, along with relevant background information about these materials and solar cell operation in general. Chapter 3 details the methods utilised in the experimental results chapters which follow. The first experimental results chapter, Chapter 4, shows how incorporation of Br- in place of I- in CsPbI3 leads to increased ambient stability of the perovskite structure, and the first solar cells with CsPbI2Br as the absorbing photovoltaic material are reported. Chapter 5 remedies the deficit of information about the optoelectronic properties of the CsPbI3-xBrx (0 ≤ x ≤ 3) perovskites through magneto-optical measurements on thin-films. These measurements raise questions about the room temperature perovskite structure of the CsPbI3-xBrx compositions with small x, previously thought to be cubic perovskite, which is shown in Chapter 6 to be an orthorhombic perovskite polymorph. This finding motivates preliminary work presented in Chapter 7 aimed at chemical stabilisation of this orthorhombic perovskite polymorph. Finally, Chapter 8 summarises the work presented in this thesis, and recommends further research for the development of stable perovskite materials for photovoltaics.
Supervisor: Snaith, Henry J. Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physics ; Perovskites ; Photovoltaics ; Condensed Matter Physics ; Material Science