Investigating the Superoxide Formation and Stability in Mesoporous Carbon Perovskite Solar Cells with an Aminovaleric Acid Additive

Emmanuel V. Péan, Catherine S. De Castro, Stoichko Dimitrov, Francesca De Rossi, Simone Meroni, Jenny Baker, Trystan Watson, Matthew L. Davies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Perovskite solar cells have attracted a great deal of attention thanks to their high efficiency, ease of manufacturing, and potential low cost. However, the stability of these devices is considered their main drawback and needs to be addressed. Mesoporous carbon perovskite solar cells (m-CPSC), consisting of three mesoporous layers (TiO2/ZrO2/C) infiltrated with CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPI) perovskite, have presented excellent lifetimes of more than 10 000 h when the additive NH2(CH2)4CO2HI (5- aminovaleric acid iodide; 5-AVAI) is used to modify the perovskite structure. Yet, the role of 5-AVAI in enhancing the stability has yet to be determined. Here, superoxide-mediated degradation of MAPI m-CPSC with and without the 5-AVAI additive is studied using the fluorescence probe dihydroethidium for superoxide detection. In situ X-ray diffractometry shows that aminovaleric acid methylammonium lead iodide (AVA-MAPI) perovskite infiltrated in mesoporous layers presents higher stability in an ambient environment under illumination, evidenced by a slower decrease of the MAPI/PbI2 peak ratio. Superoxide yield measurements demonstrate that AVA-MAPI generates more superoxide than regular MAPI when deposited on glass but generates significantly less when infiltrated in mesoporous layers. It is believed that superoxide formation in m-CPSC is dependent on a combination of competitive factors including oxygen diffusion, sample morphology, grain size, and defect concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1909839
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • 5-ammonium valeric acid iodide
  • dihydroethidium
  • fluorescence
  • in situ x-ray diffractometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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