Solution-Processed BiI3 Thin Films for Photovoltaic Applications: Improved Carrier Collection via Solvent Annealing

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Hamdeh, Umar
Nelson, Rainie
Ryan, Bradley
Bhattacharjee, Ujjal
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Panthani, Matthew
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Petrich, Jacob
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

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We report all-inorganic solar cells based on solution-processed BiI3. Two-electron donor solvents such as tetrahydrofuran and dimethylformamide were found to form adducts with BiI3, which make them highly soluble in these solvents. BiI3 thin films were deposited by spin-coating. Solvent annealing BiI3 thin films at relatively low temperatures (≤100 °C) resulted in increased grain size and crystallographic reorientation of grains within the films. The BiI3 films were stable against oxidation for several months and could withstand several hours of annealing in air at temperatures below 150 °C without degradation. Surface oxidation was found to improve photovoltaic device performance due to the formation of a BiOI layer at the BiI3 surface which facilitated hole extraction. Nonoptimized BiI3 solar cells achieved the highest power conversion efficiencies of 1.0%, demonstrating the potential of BiI3 as a nontoxic, air-stable metal-halide absorber material for photovoltaic applications.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Hamdeh, Umar H., Rainie D. Nelson, Bradley J. Ryan, Ujjal Bhattacharjee, Jacob W. Petrich, and Matthew G. Panthani. "Solution-processed BiI3 thin films for photovoltaic applications: Improved carrier collection via solvent annealing." Chemistry of Materials 28, no. 18 (2016): 6567-6574. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b02347. Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016