Investigating the Morphology, Optical, and Thermal Properties of Multiphase-TiO2/MAPbI3 Heterogeneous Thin-Films for Solar Cell Applications

Thembinkosi D. Malevu*, Tshwafo E. Motaung, Setumo V. Motloung, Lehlohonolo F. Koao, Teboho P. Mokoena, Motlalepula R. Mhlongo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present study evaluates the effect of mesoporous multiphase titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) as an electron transporting layer and investigates the influence of phase com-position on the perovskite solar cell (PSC) performances. This study also aims to evaluate PSC performance using conductive silver ink as an alternative counter electrode. The heterogeneous PSC thin-film solar cells were successfully fabricated and assembled by using a simple a doctor blade and two-step spin coating methods under ambient conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) mi-crograph images investigate methyl ammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) crystal formation on the meso-porous TiO2 surface structure. Energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) spectra reveal excellent qualitative and quantitative analysis corresponding to the SEM images in the TiO2/MAPbI3 heterogeneous thin films. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) characterization reveals that the TiO2/MAPbI3 thin films are thermally stable recording a maximum of 15.7% mass loss at 800 °C elevated tem-peratures. Photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) characterized the effect of multiphase TiO2 phase transformation on the TiO2/MAPbI3 recombination efficiencies. A maximum of 6% power conversion efficiency (PCE) with the open-circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.58 ± 0.02 V and short circuit current (Jsc) of 3.89 ± 0.17 mAcm−2 was achieved for devices with an active area of 3 × 10−4 m2 demonstrating that the synthesized multiphase TiO2 nanoparticles are promising for large surface area manufacturing. Therefore, it is apparent that multiphase TiO2 NPs play a significant role in the performance of the final device.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalCondensed Matter
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • conductive silver ink
  • doctor blade
  • mesoporous TiO
  • multiphase TiO
  • perovskite solar cells


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