Copper(I) Thiocyanate (CuSCN) Hole-Transport Layers Processed from Aqueous Precursor Solutions and Their Application in Thin-Film Transistors and Highly Efficient Organic and Organometal Halide Perovskite Solar Cells

Abstract
This study reports the development of copper(I) thiocyanate (CuSCN) hole-transport layers (HTLs) processed from aqueous ammonia as a novel alternative to conventional n-alkyl sulfide solvents. Wide bandgap (3.4–3.9 eV) and ultrathin (3–5 nm) layers of CuSCN are formed when the aqueous CuSCN–ammine complex solution is spin-cast in air and annealed at 100 °C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the high compositional purity of the formed CuSCN layers, while the high-resolution valence band spectra agree with first-principles calculations. Study of the hole-transport properties using field-effect transistor measurements reveals that the aqueous-processed CuSCN layers exhibit a fivefold higher hole mobility than films processed from diethyl sulfide solutions with the maximum values approaching 0.1 cm2 V−1 s−1. A further interesting characteristic is the low surface roughness of the resulting CuSCN layers, which in the case of solar cells helps to planarize the indium tin oxide anode. Organic bulk heterojunction and planar organometal halide perovskite solar cells based on aqueous-processed CuSCN HTLs yield power conversion efficiency of 10.7% and 17.5%, respectively. Importantly, aqueous-processed CuSCN-based cells consistently outperform devices based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate HTLs. This is the first report on CuSCN films and devices processed via an aqueous-based synthetic route that is compatible with high-throughput manufacturing and paves the way for further developments.

Citation
Wijeyasinghe N, Regoutz A, Eisner F, Du T, Tsetseris L, et al. (2017) Copper(I) Thiocyanate (CuSCN) Hole-Transport Layers Processed from Aqueous Precursor Solutions and Their Application in Thin-Film Transistors and Highly Efficient Organic and Organometal Halide Perovskite Solar Cells. Advanced Functional Materials 27: 1701818. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201701818.

Acknowledgements
N.W., Y-H.L, H.F., and T.D.A. are grateful to the to the European Research Council (ERC) AMPRO grant number 280221, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant number EP/L504786/1, for financial support. D.J.P. acknowledges support from the Royal Society (UF100105) and (UF150693). D.J.P. and A.R. acknowledge support from the EPSRC (EP/M013839/1 and EP/M028291/1). M.A.M. and T.D. are grateful for support through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Plastic Electronics EP/L016702/1 and the Stephen and Anna Hui Scholarship (Imperial College London).

Publisher
Wiley

Journal
Advanced Functional Materials

DOI
10.1002/adfm.201701818

Additional Links
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adfm.201701818/abstract

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