Herein we report on the selective synthesis and direct growth of nanostructures using an aqueous chemical growth route. Specifically, Al-doped ZnO (AZO) nanoflakes (NFs) are vertically grown on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheets at low temperature and ambient environment. The morphological, optical, and electrical properties of the NFs are investigated as a function of the Al content. Furthermore, these AZO-NFs are integrated into perovskite solar devices as the electron transport layer (ETL) and the fabricated devices are tested for photovoltaic performance. It was determined that the doping of AZO-NFs significantly increases the performance metrics of the solar cells, mainly by increasing the short-circuit current of the devices. The observed enhancement is primarily attributed to the improved conductivity of the doped AZO-NF, which facilitates charge separation and reduces recombination. Further, our flexible solar cells fabricated through this low temperature process demonstrate an acceptable reproducibility and stability when exposed to a mechanical bending test.
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