Nickel oxide (NiOx) hole transport layers (HTLs) are desirable contacts for perovskite photovoltaics because they are low cost, stable, and readily scalable; however, they deliver lower open-circuit voltages (VOCs) compared to organic HTLs. Here, we characterize and mitigate electron transfer-proton transfer reactions between NiOx HTLs and perovskite precursors. Using XPS and UPS characterization, we identify that Ni≥3+ metal cation sites in NiOx thin films act both as Brønsted proton acceptors and Lewis electron acceptors, deprotonating cationic amines and oxidizing iodide species, forming PbI2−xBrx-rich hole extraction barriers at the perovskite-NiOx interface. Titrating reactive Ni≥3+ surface states with excess A-site cation salts during perovskite active layer deposition yielded an increase in VOC values to 1.15 V and power conversion efficiencies of ∼20%. This may be a general finding for metal oxide contacts that act as Brønsted and Lewis acid-base reactants toward perovskite precursors, an observation that has also been made recently for TiO2 and SnO2 contacts.
- chemical reaction
- nickel oxide
- open-circuit voltage
- perovskite solar cell
- ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy
- x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas