Tuning interfacial energetics with surface ligands to enhance perovskite solar cell performance

Tuo Liu, Rebecca A. Scheidt, Xiaopeng Zheng, Syed Joy, Qi Jiang, Harindi R. Atapattu, Min Chen, Henry Pruett, Kai Zhu, Joseph M. Luther, Matthew C. Beard, Kenneth R. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Surface ligands are often used to improve perovskite solar cells (PSCs). Here, a series of surface ligands with varying dipole moments are applied at the methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3)/C60 interface to vary the energy-level alignment. All investigated surface ligands improve PSC performance, with 4-fluorophenethylammonium iodide (FPEAI) displaying the greatest improvement. Transient absorption and reflectance measurements show similar recombination dynamics in all ligand-treated MAPbI3/C60 bilayer films. Transient photovoltage measurements also show similar recombination lifetimes at similar charge-carrier densities; however, differential capacitance measurements indicate that FPEAI shifts the differential capacitance curve to higher voltages. In situ ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy measurements show that the interfacial energy gap at the MAPbI3/C60 interface increases from 1.19 eV with phenethylammonium iodide (PEAI) to 1.50 eV with FPEAI, corresponding to the shift of the differential capacitance curve. This increased interfacial energy gap is responsible for the increased open-circuit voltage (VOC) and should be considered in surface ligand selection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101650
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 15 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • interfacial energetics
  • inverted perovskite solar cell
  • photoemission spectroscopy
  • transient absorbance
  • transient photocurrent
  • transient photovoltage
  • transient reflectance
  • ultrafast spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Energy
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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