Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 9180–9190 | Cite as

Surface passivation with nitrogen-doped carbon dots for improved perovskite solar cell performance

  • Yifang Wang
  • Jie Zhang
  • Shuhuang Chen
  • Haoyu Zhang
  • Ligui Li
  • Zhiyong Fu
Energy materials


Undercoordinated lead cations and halide anions on the surface of perovskite layer can form surface trap states and cause electronic disorders which reduce the performance of perovskite solar cells. Nitrogen-doped carbon dots (NCDs) that have rich nitrogen- and oxygen-containing functional groups can effectively interact with the unsaturated metal sites and halide anions on the surface and boundaries of perovskite grains. Herein, low-cost NCDs are utilized as efficient additives to passivate the surface of a solution-processed CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite film, which remarkably reduce charge carrier recombination, as evidenced by the results of time-resolved photoluminescence and electrochemical impedance spectrum measurements. FTIR spectra indicate the formation of hydrogen bonds between the undercoordinated iodine ions on perovskite grains and hydroxyl as well as nitrogenous groups of NCDs. In addition, NCDs additives also help increase interfacial charge transfer from perovskite to electron-transporting layer, leading to an improvement in power conversion efficiency for the solar cell device from 12.12 ± 0.28% (standard cell fabricated in same conditions) to 15.93 ± 0.15%.



The authors thank the CPSF (2016M602456), the NSFC (51402111, 21703070, 21573076), Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program (2014ZT05N200), the NCET (130209), NSF (Guangdong, 2015A030312007), FRFCU (2017BQ064) and SRP (2017s10) for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2190_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1062 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Key Lab of Fuel Cell Technology of Guangdong Province, School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangzhou Key Laboratory for Surface Chemistry of Energy Materials, New Energy Research Institute, School of Environment and EnergySouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Photocatalysis on Energy and EnvironmentFuzhou UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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