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Cutting-edge photoconversion efficiency with lead-free antimony-halide perovskite

A research team led by Prof. Pecunia has demonstrated cutting-edge optoelectronic performance with solution-processed Rb3Sb2I9, a lead-free antimony-based perovskite with potential for next-generation, low-toxicity photovoltaics. 

In recent years, the search for lead-free perovskites with optoelectronic properties similar to those of high-performance lead-halide perovskites has been gaining considerable momentum. With a focus on solution-processed Rb3Sb2I9, this work establishes how its ability to transport charges and convert light into electricity relates to its microstructure. By developing strategies that enhance the microstructure of compact Rb3Sb2I9 thin films, we attained a considerable improvement in external quantum efficiency, which reached a peak value of 65.4%—i.e., the highest reported to date for antimony-halide perovskite derivatives and bismuth-halide homologs (i.e., compounds with formula A3M2X9, A+: organic/inorganic cation, M: Sb3+/Bi3+, and X-: halide anion). Additionally, detailed optoelectronic characterisation allowed us to rationalise the achieved performance boost in terms of the charge transport and defect properties of our high-quality Rb3Sb2I9 films. 

The significance of this study lies firstly in its demonstration that polycrystalline films of Rb3Sb2I9 can inherently give high photoconversion efficiency. Additionally, this study has the merit of bringing to the fore the importance of developing dedicated processing strategies in order to enhance the microstructure of emerging lead-free perovskite derivatives, as well as to realise their full potential for various optoelectronic and energy applications.

This work has been published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

Reference
F. Li*, Y. Wang, K. Xia, R. L. Z. Hoye, V. Pecunia†*, “Microstructural and Photoconversion Efficiency Enhancement of Compact Films of Lead-Free Perovskite Derivative Rb3Sb2I9”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 8, 4396–4406, 2020. DOI: 10.1039/C9TA13352F

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