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  1. Abstract

    The ability to passivate defects and modulate the interface energy‐level alignment (IEA) is key to boost the performance of perovskite solar cells (PSCs). Herein, we report a robust route that simultaneously allows defect passivation and reduced energy difference between perovskite and hole transport layer (HTL) via the judicious placement of polar chlorine‐terminated silane molecules at the interface. Density functional theory (DFT) points to effective passivation of the halide vacancies on perovskite surface by the silane chlorine atoms. An integrated experimental and DFT study demonstrates that the dipole layer formed by the silane molecules decreases the perovskite work function, imparting an Ohmic character to the perovskite/HTL contact. The corresponding PSCs manifest a nearly 20 % increase in power conversion efficiency over pristine devices and a markedly enhanced device stability. As such, the use of polar molecules to passivate defects and tailor the IEA in PSCs presents a promising platform to advance the performance of PSCs.

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  2. Abstract

    Despite recent rapid advances in metal halide perovskites for use in optoelectronics, the fundamental understanding of the electrical‐poling‐induced ion migration, accounting for many unusual attributes and thus performance in perovskite‐based devices, remain comparatively elusive. Herein, the electrical‐poling‐promoted polarization potential is reported for rendering hybrid organic–inorganic perovskite photodetectors with high photocurrent and fast response time, displaying a tenfold enhancement in the photocurrent and a twofold decrease in the response time after an external electric field poling. First, a robust meniscus‐assisted solution‐printing strategy is employed to facilitate the oriented perovskite crystals over a large area. Subsequently, the electrical poling invokes the ion migration within perovskite crystals, thus inducing a polarization potential, as substantiated by the surface potential change assessed by Kelvin probe force microscopy. Such electrical‐poling‐induced polarization potential is responsible for the markedly enhanced photocurrent and largely shortened response time. This work presents new insights into the electrical‐poling‐triggered ion migration and, in turn, polarization potential as well as into the implication of the latter for optoelectronic devices with greater performance. As such, the utilization of ion‐migration‐produced polarization potential may represent an important endeavor toward a wide range of high‐performance perovskite‐based photodetectors, solar cells, transistors, scintillators, etc.

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  3. Abstract

    Increasing performance demand associated with the short lifetime of consumer electronics has triggered fast growth in electronic waste, leading to serious ecological challenges worldwide. Herein, a robust strategy for judiciously constructing flexible perovskite solar cells (PSCs) that can be conveniently biodegraded is reported. The key to this strategy is to capitalize on meniscus‐assisted solution printing (MASP) as a facile means of yielding cross‐aligned silver nanowires in one‐step, which are subsequently impregnated in a biodegradable elastomeric polyester. Intriguingly, the as‐crafted hybrid biodegradable electrode greatly constrains the solvent evaporation of the perovskite precursor solution, thereby generating fewer nuclei and in turn resulting in the deposition of a large‐grained dense perovskite film that exhibits excellent optoelectronic properties with a power conversion efficiency of 17.51% in PSCs. More importantly, the hybrid biodegradable electrode‐based devices also manifest impressive robustness against mechanical deformation and can be thoroughly biodegraded after use. These results signify the great potential of MASP for controllably assembling aligned conductive nanomaterials for biodegradable electrodes. As such, it represents an important endeavor toward environmentally friendly, multifunctional and flexible electronic, optoelectronic, photonic, and sensory materials and devices.

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  4. The piezo-phototronic effect (a coupling effect of piezoelectric, photoexcitation and semiconducting properties, coined in 2010) has been demonstrated to be an ingenious and robust strategy to manipulate optoelectronic processes by tuning the energy band structure and photoinduced carrier behavior. The piezo-phototronic effect exhibits great potential in improving the quantum yield efficiencies of optoelectronic materials and devices and thus could help increase the energy conversion efficiency, thus alleviating the energy shortage crisis. In this review, the fundamental principles and challenges of representative optoelectronic materials and devices are presented, including photocatalysts (converting solar energy into chemical energy), solar cells (generating electricity directly under light illumination), photodetectors (converting light into electrical signals) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs, converting electric current into emitted light signals). Importantly, the mechanisms of how the piezo-phototronic effect controls the optoelectronic processes and the recent progress and applications in the above-mentioned materials and devices are highlighted and summarized. Only photocatalysts, solar cells, photodetectors, and LEDs that display piezo-phototronic behavior are reviewed. Material and structural design, property characterization, theoretical simulation calculations, and mechanism analysis are then examined as strategies to further enhance the quantum yield efficiency of optoelectronic devices via the piezo-phototronic effect. This comprehensive overview will guide future fundamental and applied studies that capitalize on the piezo-phototronic effect for energy conversion and storage. 
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  5. As one of the latest additions to the 2D nanomaterials family, black phosphorene (BP, monolayer or few-layer black phosphorus) has gained much attention in various forms of solar cells. This is due largely to its intriguing semiconducting properties such as tunable direct bandgap (from 0.3 eV in the bulk to 2.0 eV in the monolayer), extremely high ambipolar carrier mobility, broad visible to infrared light absorption, etc. These appealing optoelectronic attributes make BP a multifunctional nanomaterial for use in solar cells via tailoring carrier dynamics, band energy alignment, and light harvesting, thereby promoting the rapid development of third-generation solar cells. Notably, in sharp contrast to the copious work on revealing the fundamental properties of BP, investigation into the utility of BP is comparatively less, particularly in the area of photovoltaics. Herein, we first identify and summarize an array of unique characteristics of BP that underpin its application in photovoltaics, aiming at providing inspiration to develop new designs and device architectures of photovoltaics. Subsequently, state-of-the-art synthetic routes ( i.e. , top-down and bottom-up) to scalable BP production that facilitates its applications in optoelectronic materials and devices are outlined. Afterward, recent advances in a diverse set of BP-incorporated solar cells, where BP may impart electron and/or hole extraction and transport, function as a light absorber, provide dielectric screening for enhancing exciton dissociation, and modify the morphology of photoabsorbers, are discussed, including organic solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, heterojunction solar cells and perovskite solar cells. Finally, the challenges and opportunities in this rapidly evolving field are presented. 
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    Amorphous inorganic semiconductors have attracted growing interest due to their unique electrical and optical properties that arise from their intrinsic disordered structure and thermodynamic metastability. Recently, amorphous inorganic semiconductors have been applied in a variety of new technologies, including solar cells, photoelectrocatalysis, and photocatalysis. It has been reported that amorphous phases can improve both efficiency and stability in these applications. While these phenomena are well established, their mechanisms have long remained unclear. This review first introduces the general background of amorphous inorganic semiconductor properties and synthesis. Then, the recent successes and current challenges of amorphous inorganic semiconductor-based materials for applications in solar cells, photoelectrocatalysis, and photocatalysis are addressed. In particular, we discuss the mechanisms behind the remarkable performances of amorphous inorganic semiconductors in these fields. Finally, we provide insightful perspectives into further developments for applications of amorphous inorganic semiconductors. 
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