Device Performance of the Mott Insulator LaVO3 as a Photovoltaic Material: Article No. 064015

Suhuai Wei, Lingfei Wang, Yongfeng Li, Ashok Bera, Chun Ma, Feng Jin, Kaidi Yuan, Wanjian Yin, Adrian David, Wei Chen, Wenbin Wu, Wilfrid Prellier, Tom Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus Citations


Searching for solar-absorbing materials containing earth-abundant elements with chemical stability is of critical importance for advancing photovoltaic technologies. Mott insulators have been theoretically proposed as potential photovoltaic materials. In this paper, we evaluate their performance in solar cells by exploring the photovoltaic properties of Mott insulator LaVO3 (LVO). LVO films show an indirect band gap of 1.08 eV as well as strong light absorption over a wide wavelength range in the solar spectrum. First-principles calculations on the band structure of LVO further reveal that the d-d transitions within the upper and lower Mott-Hubbard bands and p-d transitions between the O 2p and V 3d band contribute to the absorption in visible and ultraviolet ranges, respectively. Transport measurements indicate strong carrier trapping and the formation of polarons in LVO. To utilize the strong light absorption of LVO and to overcome its poor carrier transport, we incorporate it as a light absorber in solar cells in conjunction with carrier transporters and evaluate its device performance. Our complementary experimental and theoretical results on such prototypical solar cells made of Mott-Hubbard transition-metal oxides pave the road for developing light-absorbing materials and photovoltaic devices based on strongly correlated electrons.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-64918


  • device performance
  • materials science
  • Mott Insulator LaVO3
  • photovoltaic material


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