(54bk) Material Optimization of Perovskite Films using High Throughput Synthesis and Multi-Dimensional Analysis

Salaheldin, A. M., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Reinhardt, E., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Distaso, M., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Segets, D., Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Peukert, W., University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Over the past years, Perovskites received special attention in the field of renewable energy as they are one of the prime candidates for energy storage and conversion materials. Perovskites act as the active light harvesting layer of a solar cell and provide excellent performance.1 A common synthesis strategy is through the liquid phase under inert atmosphere.2,3 However, this comes with the challenge of a huge parameter space that in principle would have to be first synthesized, then characterized and finally optimized based on the therefrom deduced knowledge.

To overcome these limitations, we follow a fully automated approach, which allows automated high throughput (HT) synthesis and HT characterization of perovskites with high accuracy. As an efficient route to explore the parameter space, we use design of experiments (DoE) to find optimized settings for process parameters such as synthesis and annealing time and temperature, but also material aspects like the molar ratio of the reactants.

For all experiments, a Chemspeed© technologies (CST) swing XL platform with a liquid handling tool and a heatable shaking rack was used. The robotic platform is enclosed within an Mbraun© glovebox with inert atmosphere (Nitrogen). After precursor preparation, deposition was realized by a liquid handling tool on glass substrates inserted in a customized aluminum 24 well plate, which is then transferred onto a hot plate for film formation.

In a first step, after annealing at different temperatures, a characterization cascade was developed and applied that contains the subsequent elimination of samples that exhibit undesired properties and side products. Fast absorption analysis, photoluminescence (PL) measurements and finally X-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed to identify optimum chemistry and process parameters. Although this is a very reliable procedure, it is still comparatively demanding in terms of the time effort. Therefore a more efficient, purely optical approach by which the experimental parameter space is only explored in terms of rapid emission analysis was developed in a second step. Noteworthy, both strategies led to the same optimum conditions, however, at significantly reduced time effort.

In conclusion, our work shows how by the combination of automation, DoE and efficient characterization, optimum conditions for new materials like perovskites are rapidly identified. This opens the door towards faster material development which is important whenever new perovskite structures, e.g. lead free materials for industrial applications, are strived for.


  1. Green, M.A.; Ho-Bailie, A.; Snaith, H.J., “The emergence of perovskite solar cells”, Nature Photonics 2014, 8, (7), 506-514.
  2. Baikie, T.; Fang, Y.; Kadro, J.M.; Schreyer, M.; Wei, F.; Mhaisalkar, S.G.; Graetzel, M.; White, T.J., “Synthesis and crystal chemistry of the hybrid perovskite (CH 3NH3)PbI3 for solid-state sensitised solar cell applications”, J. Mater. Chem. A 2013,1 , 5628-5641.
  3. Yan, K.; Long, M.; Zhang, T.; Wei, Z.; Chen, H.; Yang, S.; Xu, J., “Hybrid Halide Perovskite Solar Cell Precursors: Colloidal Chemistry and Coordination Engineering behind Device Processing for High Efficiency”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, (13), 4460–4468.