Can Pb-Free Halide Double Perovskites Support High-Efficiency Solar Cells?

Christopher N. Savory, Aron Walsh, David O. Scanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Citations (Scopus)


The methylammonium lead halides have become champion photoactive semiconductors for solar cell applications; however, issues still remain with respect to chemical instability and potential toxicity. Recently, the Cs2AgBiX6 (X = Cl, Br) double perovskite family has been synthesized and investigated as stable nontoxic replacements. We probe the chemical bonding, physical properties, and cation anti-site disorder of Cs2AgBiX6 and related compounds from first-principles. We demonstrate that the combination of Ag(I) and Bi(III) leads to the wide indirect band gaps with large carrier effective masses owing to a mismatch in angular momentum of the frontier atomic orbitals. The spectroscopically limited photovoltaic conversion efficiency is less than 10% for X = Cl or Br. This limitation can be overcome by replacing Ag with In or Tl; however, the resulting compounds are predicted to be unstable thermodynamically. The search for nontoxic bismuth perovskites must expand beyond the Cs2AgBiX6 motif.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry

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