A novel ball milling technique for room temperature processing of TiO2 nanoparticles employed as the electron transport layer in perovskite solar cells and modules

Mriganka Singh, Chien Hung Chiang, Karunakara Moorthy Boopathi, Chintam Hanmandlu, Gang Li, Chun Guey Wu, Hong Cheu Lin, Chih Wei Chu

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Anatase titanium dioxide (an-TiO2) is often used as the electron transporting material (ETM) in planar-heterojunction perovskite solar cells (PSCs) because of its excellent semiconductor characteristics, outstanding optical transmittance, and suitable band structure. Herein, we report an inexpensive method for mass-scale production of TiO2 ETMs at room temperature (RT ∼ 30 °C), involving the grinding of large clumps of an-TiO2 to form a suspension of TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) in isopropyl alcohol for meso-superstructured PSCs. This process does not involve any chemical synthesis; it is a purely physical process. The lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of ground an-TiO2 NPs, estimated using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), was ca. 4.06 eV, which is a salient feature for the active layer. A regular perovskite solar cell (PSC) based on a CH3NH3PbI3 absorber and ground an-TiO2 ETL exhibited a champion power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 17.43% with an active area of 0.1 cm2. The same ground an-TiO2 NPs were used to fabricate a large-area (designated area: 25.2 cm2) PSC and a PCE of 14.19% was achieved. PSC devices incorporating the ground an-TiO2 NP ETLs exhibited an attractive long-term device stability, with the PCE retaining approximately 85% of the initial values after 80 days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7114-7122
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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