Research activities on perovskite solar cells in China

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  • ReceivedJan 23, 2019
  • AcceptedMar 7, 2019
  • PublishedApr 2, 2019


Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have attracted much attention because of their high efficiencies and low costs for production. Although academic research started late in China, compared to that in Europe and Korea, the majority of active PSC research is now conducted in China; furthermore, Chinese research groups currently hold the certified highest efficiency record for both an individual PSC and a PSC module. China is also the world’s largest supplier of solar modules, making it a promising country in which to realize the commercialization of PSCs. Herein, we review PSC research activities undertaken in China (both academic and industrial) and discuss significant remaining challenges to overcome for early commercialization of PSCs. We propose that research activities shift away from material and device structure development toward improving PSC stability and developing methods for large-area module fabrication. In addition, we suggest that a recognized certification center is urgently needed in China to further accelerate PSC research.

Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(11574199,11674219)


We thank Dr. D. Cui and Dr. Z. Dai from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) for collecting part of the data discussed in this review. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11574199, 11674219).

Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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  • Figure 1

    (a) Efficiencies of perovskite solar cells obtained by research groups in China and by the rest of the world. List of abbreviations: Toin University of Yokohama (Toin U), Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), and Institute of Semiconductors of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS). (b) Numbers of publications from research groups in China and the world (color online).

  • Figure 2

    Possible structures for PSCs [10]. (a) Normal mesoporous structure; (b) normal planar structure; (c) inverted planar structure. List of abbreviations: hole-transport material (HTM), electron-transport material, fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) (color online).

  • Figure 3

    (a) Schematic structure of a SnO2-based normal-structured PSC; (b) energy level diagram of the structure shown in (a) [16]. List of abbreviations: 2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenylamine)-9,9′-spirobifluoren (Spiro-MeOTAD), methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) (color online).

  • Figure 4

    Time-resolved photoluminescence of the perovskite film with and without excess PbI2 [17] (color online).

  • Figure 5

    (a) Schematic configuration of an inverted perovskite solar cell containing doped charge-transporting materials. The composition of Ti(Nb)Ox and the crystal structure of Li+-doped NixMg1–xO are also shown [22]; (b) schematic drawing of an inverted PSC containing a graded heterojunction [24]. List of abbreviations: hole-extracting layer (HEL), electron-extracting layer (EEL), graded heterojunction (GHJ), phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) (color online).

  • Figure 6

    Current density-voltage curves for an inverted perovskite solar cell produced with or without using the solution-processed secondary growth process. Inset: schematic diagram of the cell [25]. List of abbreviations: bathocuproine (BCP), buckminsterfullerene (C60), poly[bis(4-phenyl)(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)amine) (PTA), indium tin oxide (ITO) (color online).

  • Figure 7

    (a) Formulation of the PbI2-MAI precursor solution in dimethylformamide (DMF) with MAAc and TSc additives; (b) schematic diagram of the additive-assisted one-step deposition of perovskite thin films [34] (color online).

  • Figure 8

    Schematic drawing of the ion diffusion inhibition by the carbon nanostructured layer [45]. List of abbreviations: colloidal quantum dots (CQDs), methylammonium iodide (MAI) (color online).

  • Figure 9

    Schematic cross-section of a fully printable mesoscopic perovskite solar cell [47] (color online).

  • Figure 10

    Certified efficiencies of PSC mini-modules developed by Chinese companies (color online).

  • Figure 11

    Pie chart showing the percentage of patents for PSC technologies held in China vs. the rest of the world (color online).

  • Figure 12

    Kelvin probe force microscopy measurements disclosing the position of the p-n junction in both a meso-structured PSC and a planar PSC [49] (color online).

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