Antimony-Bismuth Alloying: The Key to a Major Boost in the Efficiency of Lead-Free Perovskite-Inspired Photovoltaics

Basheer Al-Anesi, G. Krishnamurthy Grandhi, Adriana Pecoraro, Vipinraj Sugathan, Noolu Srinivasa Manikanta Viswanath, Harri Ali-Löytty, Maning Liu, Tero-Petri Ruoko, Kimmo Lahtonen, Debjit Manna, Sami Toikkonen, Ana Belén Muñoz-García, Michele Pavone, Paola Vivo

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The perovskite-inspired Cu2AgBiI6 (CABI) material has been gaining increasing momentum as photovoltaic (PV) absorber due to its low toxicity, intrinsic air stability, direct bandgap, and a high absorption coefficient in the range of 105 cm−1. However, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of existing CABI-based PVs is still seriously constrained by the presence of both intrinsic and surface defects. Herein, antimony (III) (Sb3+) is introduced into the octahedral lattice sites of the CABI structure, leading to CABI-Sb with larger crystalline domains than CABI. The alloying of Sb3+ with bismuth (III) (Bi3+) induces changes in the local structural symmetry that dramatically increase the formation energy of intrinsic defects. Light-intensity dependence and electron impedance spectroscopic studies show reduced trap-assisted recombination in the CABI-Sb PV devices. CABI-Sb solar cells feature a nearly 40% PCE enhancement (from 1.31% to 1.82%) with respect to the CABI devices mainly due to improvement in short-circuit current density. This work will promote future compositional design studies to enhance the intrinsic defect tolerance of next-generation wide-bandgap absorbers for high-performance and stable PVs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2303575
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • defects
  • low-toxicity
  • perovskite-inspired material
  • photovoltaics
  • wide-bandgap

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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