Copper(I) Thiocyanate (CuSCN) Hole-Transport Layers Processed from Aqueous Precursor Solutions and Their Application in Thin-Film Transistors and Highly Efficient Organic and Organometal Halide Perovskite Solar Cells

Nilushi Wijeyasinghe, Anna Regoutz, Flurin Eisner, Tian Du, Leonidas Tsetseris, Yen Hung Lin, Hendrik Faber, Pichaya Pattanasattayavong, Jinhua Li, Feng Yan, Martyn A. McLachlan, David J. Payne, Martin Heeney, Thomas D. Anthopoulos

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151 Citations (Scopus)


KGaA, Weinheim This study reports the development of copper(I) thiocyanate (CuSCN) hole-transport layers (HTLs) processed from aqueous ammonia as a novel alternative to conventional n-alkyl sulfide solvents. Wide bandgap (3.4–3.9 eV) and ultrathin (3–5 nm) layers of CuSCN are formed when the aqueous CuSCN–ammine complex solution is spin-cast in air and annealed at 100 °C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the high compositional purity of the formed CuSCN layers, while the high-resolution valence band spectra agree with first-principles calculations. Study of the hole-transport properties using field-effect transistor measurements reveals that the aqueous-processed CuSCN layers exhibit a fivefold higher hole mobility than films processed from diethyl sulfide solutions with the maximum values approaching 0.1 cm2V−1s−1. A further interesting characteristic is the low surface roughness of the resulting CuSCN layers, which in the case of solar cells helps to planarize the indium tin oxide anode. Organic bulk heterojunction and planar organometal halide perovskite solar cells based on aqueous-processed CuSCN HTLs yield power conversion efficiency of 10.7% and 17.5%, respectively. Importantly, aqueous-processed CuSCN-based cells consistently outperform devices based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate HTLs. This is the first report on CuSCN films and devices processed via an aqueous-based synthetic route that is compatible with high-throughput manufacturing and paves the way for further developments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1701818
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2017


  • copper(I) thiocyanate
  • hole-transport layers
  • organic solar cells
  • perovskite solar cells
  • transparent semiconductors and transistors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry

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