Probing the Reactivity of ZnO with Perovskite Precursors

Sofia Apergi, Geert Brocks, Shuxia Tao (Corresponding author), Selina Olthof (Corresponding author)

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To achieve more stable and efficient metal halide perovskite devices, optimization of charge transport materials and their interfaces with perovskites is crucial. ZnO on paper would make an ideal electron transport layer in perovskite devices. This metal oxide has a large bandgap, making it transparent to visible light; it can be easily n-type doped, has a decent electron mobility, and is thought to be chemically relatively inert. However, in combination with perovskites, ZnO has turned out to be a source of instability, rapidly degrading the performance of devices. In this work, we provide a comprehensive experimental and computational study of the interaction between the most common organic perovskite precursors and the surface of ZnO, with the aim of understanding the observed instability. Using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, we find a complete degradation of the precursors in contact with ZnO and the formation of volatile species as well as new surface bonds. Our computational work reveals that different pristine and defected surface terminations of ZnO facilitate the decomposition of the perovskite precursor molecules, mainly through deprotonation, making the deposition of the latter on those surfaces impossible without the use of passivation.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)14984-14994
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
Vroegere onlinedatum14 mrt. 2024
StatusGepubliceerd - 27 mrt. 2024


Ministry of Economic Affairs Innovation
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek740.018.024
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek


    • DFT
    • interface
    • metal oxide
    • perovskite
    • reactivity
    • XPS
    • ZnO


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