Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



J. Zhao, Y. Deng, H. Wei, X. Zheng, Z. Yu, Y. Shao, J. E. Shield, J. Huang, Strained hybrid perovskite thin films and their impact on the intrinsic stability of perovskite solar cells. Sci. Adv. 3, eaao5616 (2017).


Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).


Organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite (OIHP) solar cells have achieved comparable efficiencies to those of commercial solar cells, although their instability hinders their commercialization. Although encapsulation techniques have been developed to protect OIHP solar cells from external stimuli such as moisture, oxygen, and ultraviolet light, understanding of the origin of the intrinsic instability of perovskite films is needed to improve their stability. We show that the OIHP films fabricated by existing methods are strained and that strain is caused by mismatched thermal expansion of perovskite films and substrates during the thermal annealing process. The polycrystalline films have compressive strain in the out-of-plane direction and in-plane tensile strain. The strain accelerates degradation of perovskite films under illumination, which can be explained by increased ion migration in strained OIHP films. This study points out an avenue to enhance the intrinsic stability of perovskite films and solar cells by reducing residual strain in perovskite films.