Surface-Activated Corrosion in Tin-Lead Halide Perovskite Solar Cells

Laura E. Mundt, Jinhui Tong, Axel F. Palmstrom, Sean P. Dunfield, Kai Zhu, Joseph J. Berry, Laura T. Schelhas, Erin L. Ratcliff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Mixed tin-lead halide perovskite solar cells have promising power conversion efficiencies, but long-term stability is still a challenge. Herein we examine the stability of a 60:40 tin-lead perovskite to better understand diminished device performance upon thermal treatment, both in ambient and inert atmosphere. Operando X-ray diffraction shows a stable bulk structure of the perovskite absorber, leading to the hypothesis that surface chemistry dominates the degradation mechanism. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveals two new observations post-thermal annealing that accompany previously reported Sn4+ evolution: (i) the formation of I3- intermediates preceding I2 loss at the surface and (ii) evidence of under-coordinated tin and lead surface sites (Snδ<2+ and Pbδ<2+, respectively) in inert and ambient conditions. These two species indicate an activated corrosion (i.e., both oxidation and reduction) process at the surface as a possible chemical pathway for degradation, which is expected to be accelerated under operando voltage and light biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3344-3351
Number of pages8
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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