Charge Collection in Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cells: Relation to the Nanoscale Elemental Distribution

Michael Stuckelberger, Tara Nietzold, Genevieve N. Hall, Bradley West, Jeremie Werner, Bjoern Niesen, Christophe Ballif, Volker Rose, David P. Fenning, Mariana Bertoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Unveiling the correlation between elemental composition, Fermi-level splitting, and charge collection in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) when exposed to different environments is crucial to understanding the origin of defects. This will enable defect engineering to achieve high-performance and long-lasting PSCs. In this paper, we measured, for the first time, the spatial distribution and charge-collection efficiency at the nanoscale by synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray beam-induced current (XBIC) with subgrain resolution, and we observe a correlation between Pb/I ratio and charge-collection efficiency. In contrast with other thin-film solar cells, PSCs are highly sensitive to ambient conditions (atmosphere and illumination). As the XRF and XBIC measurements were conducted in vacuum under an X-ray source illumination, the impact of measurement conditions on the cells needs to be taken into account. Furthermore, necessary conditions for quantification of XRF/XBIC measurements, such as film homogeneity, are not fulfilled in the case of PSCs. Therefore, we will discuss fundamentals of XRF/XBIC measurements of PSCs that will enable reliable, quantitative, high-resolution measurements of elemental distribution and charge collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7790832
Pages (from-to)590-597
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Charge collection
  • X-ray beam-induced current (XBIC)
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • degradation
  • methylammonium lead iodide (MAPI)
  • perovskite
  • solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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