Metal Oxide Barrier Layers for Terrestrial and Space Perovskite Photovoltaics

Ahmad Kirmani, David Ostrowski, Kaitlyn VanSant, Todd Byers, Rosemary Bramante, Karen Heinselman, Jinhui Tong, Bart Stevens, William Nemeth, Kai Zhu, Ian Sellers, Bibhudutta Rout, Joseph Luther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus Citations


Perovskite photovoltaics are attractive for both terrestrial and space applications. Although terrestrial conditions require durability against stressors such as moisture and partial shading, space poses different challenges: radiation, atomic oxygen, vacuum and high-temperature operation. Here we demonstrate a silicon oxide layer that hardens perovskite photovoltaics to critical space stressors. A 1-μm-thick silicon oxide layer evaporated atop the device contacts blocks 0.05 MeV protons at fluences of 1015 cm−2 without a loss in power conversion efficiency, which results in a device lifetime increase in low Earth orbit by ×20 and in highly elliptical orbit by ×30. Silicon-oxide-protected Cs0.05(MA0.17FA0.83)0.95Pb(I0.83Br0.17)3) (MA, methylammonium; FA, formamidinium cation) and CsPbI2Br cells survive submergence in water and N,N-dimethylformamide. Furthermore, moisture tolerance of Sn-Pb and CsPbI2Br devices is boosted. Devices are also found to retain power conversion efficiencies on exposure to alpha irradiation and atomic oxygen. This barrier technology is a step towards lightweight packaging designs for both space and terrestrial applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)191-202
Number of pages12
JournalNature Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-84590


  • perovskite
  • photovoltaics
  • radiation
  • space


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