Structural and quantitative investigation of perovskite pore filling in mesoporous metal oxides

Shany Gamliel, Inna Popov, Bat El Cohen, Vladimir Uvarov, Lioz Etgar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In recent years, hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite light absorbers have attracted much attention in the field of solar cells due to their optoelectronic characteristics that enable high power conversion efficiencies. Perovskite-based solar cells’ efficiency has increased dramatically from 3.8% to more than 20% in just a few years, making them a promising low-cost alternative for photovoltaic applications. The deposition of perovskite into a mesoporous metal oxide is an influential factor affecting solar cell performance. Full coverage and pore filling into the porous metal oxide are important issues in the fabrication of highly-efficient mesoporous perovskite solar cells. In this work, we carry out a structural and quantitative investigation of CH3NH3PbI3 pore filling deposited via sequential two-step deposition into two different mesoporous metal oxides—TiO2 and Al2O3. We avoid using a hole conductor in the perovskite solar cells studied in this work to eliminate undesirable end results. Filling oxide pores with perovskite was characterized by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) in Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) on cross-sectional focused ion beam (FIB) lamellae. Complete pore filling of CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite into the metal oxide pores was observed down to X-depth, showing the presence of Pb and I inside the pores. The observations reported in this work are particularly important for mesoporous Al2O3 perovskite solar cells, as pore filling is essential for the operation of this solar cell structure. This work presents structural and quantitative proof of complete pore filling into mesoporous perovskite-based solar cells, substantiating their high power conversion efficiency.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number149
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Mesoporous
  • Perovskite
  • Pore filling
  • XRD


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