Novel photo-voltaic device based on Bi1−xLaxFeO3 perovskite films with higher efficiency

  • T. M. W. J. BandaraEmail author
  • C. S. Knee
  • M. Furlani
  • I. Albinsson
  • B.-E. Mellander


Photovoltaic cells using polycrystalline La substituted bismuth iron oxide, Bi1−xLaxFeO3, (0.1 ≤ x ≤ 0.4), films as the light harvesting component were investigated in this work. A novel cell set-up utilizing a double layered TiO2 film as top contact and a thin layer of quasi-solid polymer electrolyte as back contact was used and a significant enhancement in cell efficiency was observed for assemblies based on x ≥ 0.2 samples, coincident with a structural transition of Bi1−xLaxFeO3 from ferroelectric to non-ferroelectric. The power conversion efficiency of the PV device was 0.13% for the cell with x = 0.2 at 1 sun irradiation. The short circuit current density for this La composition was 0.35 mA cm−2. A hysteretic behaviour was observed for higher La compositions when the scanning is from open-circuit (OP) to short-circuit (SC) which may be attributed to polarization effects. The results at x ≥ 0.2 show an improved performance with respect to BiFeO3 based systems, suggesting the stabilization of the non-ferroelectric crystal structure leads either to a more efficient separation of photo-generated electron–hole pairs and/or enhanced charge transport. The findings represent a step towards the realisation of facile to fabricate, inorganic solid state photovoltaic devices.



The authors wish to acknowledge the research support provided by Chalmers University of Technology Sweden, Carl Tryggers Foundation for Scientific Research (Grant 11:301), the Swedish Research Council (Grant 348-2014-4284) and the National Research Council of Sri Lanka.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Physics and Postgraduate Institute of ScienceUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  5. 5.ESAB ABGothenburgSweden

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