Promoter: Prof. Dr. Dirk Vanderzande
Copromoter: Dr. Laurence Lutsen and Prof. Dr. An Hardy
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Emerging thin-film solar cells are receiving significant research attention since they could to lead to the development of low cost, thin, lightweight and flexible solar modules. From among these, solar cells containing hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have seen a remarkable increase in lab-scale efficiency over the past decade. Currently, one of the main challenges in this field is the limited lifetime of these solar cells, which can be linked to the limited stability of the perovskite material.
The goals of the work in this thesis were to enhance the stability of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite materials by tuning their composition and dimensionality, as well as to explore the versatility of this material class and link structure and composition to properties.
In this work, a variety of organic-inorganic hybrids was synthesized and characterized. These hybrids are formed by combining organic ammonium salts with inorganic salts. Through the design and synthesis of organic ammonium salts, hybrids with significantly enhanced stability could be obtained. As a next step, functional organic ammonium salts were synthesized and incorporated into hybrids of different dimensionality in order to investigate the potential for synergies between the organic and inorganic parts. Finally, we broadened the complexity of the organic layer by incorporating two different types of organic ammonium cations – an electron donor and an electron acceptor - into a single hybrid structure. In this way, organic donor-acceptor charge-transfer complexes were created inside these hybrids. Organic donor-acceptor complexes are a class of materials in their own right with a variety of interesting properties. Therefore, their incorporation into a hybrid structure provides new opportunities for material design.
Overall, the results of this thesis show that organic-inorganic hybrids are highly versatile materials with properties that can be tuned by changing their composition and dimensionality.