Halide Perovskites: Is It All about the Interfaces?

David Cahen, Antoine Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

400 Scopus Citations


Design and modification of interfaces, always a critical issue for semiconductor devices, has become a primary tool to harness the full potential of halide perovskite (HaP)-based optoelectronics, including photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes. In particular, the outstanding improvements in HaP solar cell performance and stability can be primarily ascribed to a careful choice of the interfacial layout in the layer stack. In this review, we describe the unique challenges and opportunities of these approaches (section 1). For this purpose, we first elucidate the basic physical and chemical properties of the exposed HaP thin film and crystal surfaces, including topics such as surface termination, surface reactivity, and electronic structure (section 2). This is followed by discussing experimental results on the energetic alignment processes at the interfaces between the HaP and transport and buffer layers. This section includes understandings reached as well as commonly proposed and applied models, especially the often-questionable validity of vacuum level alignment, the importance of interface dipoles, and band bending as the result of interface formation (section 3). We follow this by elaborating on the impact of the interface formation on device performance, considering effects such as chemical reactions and surface passivation on interface energetics and stability. On the basis of these concepts, we propose a roadmap for the next steps in interfacial design for HaP semiconductors (section 4), emphasizing the importance of achieving control over the interface energetics and chemistry (i.e., reactivity) to allow predictive power for tailored interface optimization.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3349-3417
Number of pages69
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-73498


  • halide perovskites
  • interfaces
  • optoelectronics
  • semiconductor devices


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