High-performing electron transport layers for perovskite solar cells


In the last 10 years, perovskite solar cells have emerged as one of the most promising next-generation photovoltaic technologies, triggering huge R&D investment worldwide. With efficiencies comparable to conventional silicon cells, combined with the low-cost, ease of processing and flexibility of thin film technology, the commercial potential of perovskite solar cells is substantial. Despite this promise, the fabrication of efficient and stable large-area perovskite solar cells remains a major challenge.

Researchers from The Australian National University have overcome these limitations using a novel two-step sputtering method, creating a unique electron transport layer (ETL) for perovskite solar cells that is scalable and suitable for use on both conventional (n-i-p) and inverted (p-i-n) perovskite solar cells.


Potential benefits

  • High efficiency: First to report a perovskite solar cell based on a sputter deposited ETL with an efficiency above 21%
  • Scalability: As a sputter-based process, the technology is scalable to large areas using existing industrial sputtering equipment
  • Control: Over the chemical composition and oxidation state of the material, allowing precise tuning of the electronic and optical properties of the resulting thin films
  • Robust: Repeatable, reliable process to obtain the desired metal oxide properties
  • Easy to fabricate: High quality, doped titanium oxide thin films with suitable work function, tuneable transmittance and conductivity
  • Affordable: Lower cost compared to conventional silicon photovoltaic technologies

Potential applications

  • Perovskite solar cells
  • Perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells
  • Large scale power generation
  • Building integrated photovoltaics (BIVP)
  • Mobile photovoltaic and semiconductor electronic devices
  • Solution processed manufacturing
  • Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs)
  • Opto-semiconductors
  • Sensors


ANU is seeking an option/license arrangement with a commercial R&D collaboration, wherein the technology is further developed via a collaboration with an industry partner, in return for an end option/license to the technology. ANU is able to facilitate the leverage of commercial research grant schemes in Australia with commercial partners.

IP status

The unique two-step sputtering method to create high preforming ETLs is owned by ANU and is the subject of a provisional patent application with a priority date of 5th November 2020.

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