Nanostructured Materials for Photovoltaic Energy

Group Leader: Mónica Lira-Cantú

Mónica Lira-Cantú

CSIC Research Scientist

Group Leader

After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1992, Dr Monica Lira-Cantu obtained her Master’s and PhD degrees in Materials Science at the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 1995 and 1997, respectively. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Schneider Electric and ICMAB until 1998. From 1999 to 2001 she was a permanent senior staff chemist at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering (formerly Mobil Technology Co) in New Jersey (USA), establishing a group on energy-related applications.

Dr Lira-Cantu has received various awards, as well as visiting scientist fellowships at the following laboratories: Universitetet i Oslo (Norway) (ESF, 2003), RisDTU Nationallaboratoriet (Denmark) (AGAUR, 2004/05), and Center for Advanced Science and Innovation (Osaka University, Japan) (Canon Foundation in Europe, 2006). She is group leader of the Nanostructured Materials for Photovoltaic Energy since 2006. She obtained a tenured track position at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) in 2007 and was promoted to Scientific Researcher in 2017.

She is currently evaluator for the European Commission for the ERC Starting, Consolidator and Advanced grants. Since 2021 she is panel member of the new PE11 Materials Engineering of the ERC Advanced Grants. She has coordinated and organised more than 18 scientific conferences and is scientific referee for more than 20 international and European research agencies, and 52 scientific journals. Dr Lira is a member of the editorial board of SN Applied Science (Nature), Journal of Materials Chemistry C(RSC),Journal of Physics Energy (IOP), Journal of Photonics for Energy (SPIE) and Frontiers in Energy Research: Solar Energy (Frontiers). Since 2016 she is a member of the advisory board for the Nanotechnology and Chemical Science degree (INCQ) of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM, Mexico). In 2021 she became president of the National Advisory Board of the ITESM (Mexico) for the INT career.

The research interests of Dr Lira lie in the synthesis and application of nanostructured materials for highly efficient and high stable next-generation thin-film solar cells: halide-perovskite, dye-sensitised, alloxide and organic solar cells. Her group has developed halide perovskite solar cells with > 21% efficiency and 1000 h stability under continuous illumination. The group also focuses on the application of solar cells in printed batteryless, self-powered electronics for the IoT (on flexible, transparent and/or smart materials).

Dr Monica Lira-Cantu has more than 125 scientific publications, among them more than 110 journal articles, 1 edited book, 10 book chapters, 9 patents. According to Google Scholar, she has more than 9000 citations overall and H index of 50.



  • APL Energy. Bridging the gap between fundamental research and technological innovation

    Lira-Cantú, Mónica Apl Energy; 1 (1) 2023. 10.1063/5.0153209.

  • Expression of Concern: Concordantly fabricated heterojunction ZnO-TiO2 nanocomposite electrodes via a co-precipitation method for efficient stable quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

    Shalan, AE; Elseman, AM; Rasly, M; Moharam, MM; Lira-Cantu, M; Rashad, MM Rsc Advances; 13 (47): 33061 - 33061. 2023. 10.1039/d3ra90108d. IF: 3.900

  • Functionalized MXene/Halide Perovskite Heterojunctions for Perovskite Solar Cells Stable Under Real Outdoor Conditions

    Karimipour, M; Parambil, AP; Tanko, KT; Zhang, TK; Gao, F; Lira-Cantu, M Advanced Energy Materials; 13 (44) 2023. 10.1002/aenm.202301959. IF: 27.800

  • Hierarchical carbon nanofibers/carbon nanotubes/NiCo nanocomposites as novel highly effective counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells: A structure-electrocatalytic activity relationship study

    Zambrzycki, M; Piech, R; Raga, SR; Lira-Cantu, M; Fraczek-Szczypta, A Carbon; 203: 97 - 110. 2023. 10.1016/j.carbon.2022.11.047. IF: 10.900

  • Monitoring the stability and degradation mechanisms of perovskite solar cells by in situ and operando characterization

    Baumann, Fanny; Raga, Sonia R.; Lira-Cantú, Mónica Apl Energy; 1 (1) 2023. 10.1063/5.0145199.

  • On performance of thin-film meso-structured perovskite solar cell through experimental analysis and device simulation

    Bonnín-Ripoll, F; Martynov, YB; Nazmitdinov, RG; Tabah, K; Pereyra, C; Lira-Cantú, M; Cardona, G; Pujol-Nadal, R Materials Today Sustainability; 24: 100548. 2023. 10.1016/j.mtsust.2023.100548. IF: 7.800

  • Parameterization of the apparent chemical inductance of metal halide perovskite solar cells exhibiting constant-phase-element behavior

    Hernandez-Balaguera, E; Arredondo, B; Pereyra, C; Lira-Cantu, M Journal Of Power Sources; 560: 232614. 2023. 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2022.232614. IF: 9.200

  • Roadmap on commercialization of metal halide perovskite photovoltaics

    Feng, SP; Cheng, YH; Yip, HL; Zhong, YF; Fong, PWK; Li, G; Ng, A; Chen, C; Castriotta, LA; Matteocci, F; Vesce, L; Saranin, D; Di Carlo, A; Wang, PQ; Ho, JW; Hou, Y; Lin, F; Aberle, AG; Song, ZN; Yan, YF; Chen, X; Yang, Y; Syed, AA; Ahmad, I; Leung, T; Wang, YT; Lin, JY; Ng, AMC; Li, Y; Ebadi, F; Tress, W; Richardson, G; Ge, CY; Hu, HL; Karimipour, M; Baumann, F; Tabah, K; Pereyra, C; Raga, SR; Xie, HB; Lira-Cantu, M; Khenkin, M; Visoly-Fisher, I; Katz, EA; Vaynzof, Y; Vidal, R; Yu, GC; Lin, HR; Weng, SC; Wang, SF; Djurisic, AB Journal Of Physics-Materials; 6 (3): 32501. 2023. 10.1088/2515-7639/acc893. IF: 4.800


  • Improved performance and stability of perovskite solar modules by interface modulating with graphene oxide crosslinked CsPbBr3quantum dots

    Zhang S., Guo R., Zeng H., Zhao Y., Liu X., You S., Li M., Luo L., Lira-Cantu M., Li L., Liu F., Zheng X., Liao G., Li X. Energy and Environmental Science; 15 (1): 244 - 253. 2022. 10.1039/d1ee01778k. IF: 38.532

  • Ionic Liquid Stabilized Perovskite Solar Modules with Power Conversion Efficiency Exceeding 20%

    Wang Y., Yang Y., Li N., Hu M., Raga S.R., Jiang Y., Wang C., Zhang X.-L., Lira-Cantu M., Huang F., Cheng Y.-B., Lu J. Advanced Functional Materials; 2022. 10.1002/adfm.202204396.

  • Solution Processable Direct Bandgap Copper-Silver-Bismuth Iodide Photovoltaics: Compositional Control of Dimensionality and Optoelectronic Properties

    Pai N., Chatti M., Fürer S.O., Scully A.D., Raga S.R., Rai N., Tan B., Chesman A.S.R., Xu Z., Rietwyk K.J., Reddy S.S., Hora Y., Sepalage G.A., Glück N., Lira-Cantú M., Bach U., Simonov A.N. Advanced Energy Materials; 12 (32, 2201482) 2022. 10.1002/aenm.202201482.

  • Universal control strategy for anomalous ionic-electronic phenomenology in perovskite solar cells efficiency measurements

    Hernández-Balaguera E., Muñoz-Díaz L., Pereyra C., Lira-Cantú M., Najafi M., Galagan Y. Materials Today Energy; 27 (101031) 2022. 10.1016/j.mtener.2022.101031.


  • A home for women’s voices

    Kafafi Z., Lira-Cantú M. Nature Energy; 6 (10): 939 - 940. 2021. 10.1038/s41560-021-00924-4. IF: 60.858

  • Additive engineering for stable halide perovskite solar cells

    Pereyra C; Xie H; Lira-Cantu M Journal Of Energy Chemistry; 60: 599 - 634. 2021. 10.1016/j.jechem.2021.01.0372095-4956/. IF: 9.676

  • Decoupling the effects of defects on efficiency and stability through phosphonates in stable halide perovskite solar cells

    Xie H., Wang Z., Chen Z., Pereyra C., Pols M., Gałkowski K., Anaya M., Fu S., Jia X., Tang P., Kubicki D.J., Agarwalla A., Kim H.-S., Prochowicz D., Borrisé X., Bonn M., Bao C., Sun X., Zakeeruddin S.M., Emsley L., Arbiol J., Gao F., Fu F., Wang H.I., Tielrooij K.-J., Stranks S.D., Tao S., Grätzel M., Hagfeldt A., Lira-Cantu M. Joule; 5 (5): 1246 - 1266. 2021. 10.1016/j.joule.2021.04.003. IF: 41.248

  • Functionalized carbon dots on TiO2 for perovskite photovoltaics and stable photoanodes for water splitting

    Ansón-Casaos A., Hernández-Ferrer J., Vallan L., Xie H., Lira-Cantú M., Benito A.M., Maser W.K. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 46 (22): 12180 - 12191. 2021. 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.03.077. IF: 5.816

  • Stress-mediated solution deposition method to stabilize ferroelectric BiFe1-xCrxO3 perovskite thin films with narrow bandgaps

    Jiménez R., Ricote J., Bretos I., Jiménez Riobóo R.J., Mompean F., Ruiz A., Xie H., Lira-Cantú M., Calzada M.L. Journal of the European Ceramic Society; 41 (6): 3404 - 3415. 2021. 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2020.12.042. IF: 5.302

  • Unraveling the Key Relationship Between Perovskite Capacitive Memory, Long Timescale Cooperative Relaxation Phenomena, and Anomalous J–V Hysteresis

    Hernández-Balaguera E., del Pozo G., Arredondo B., Romero B., Pereyra C., Xie H., Lira-Cantú M. Solar RRL; 5 (4, 2000707) 2021. 10.1002/solr.202000707. IF: 8.582


  • An Interlaboratory Study on the Stability of All-Printable Hole Transport Material–Free Perovskite Solar Cells

    De Rossi F., Barbé J., Tanenbaum D.M., Cinà L., Castriotta L.A., Stoichkov V., Wei Z., Tsoi W.C., Kettle J., Sadula A., Chircop J., Azzopardi B., Xie H., Di Carlo A., Lira-Cantú M., Katz E.A., Watson T.M., Brunetti F. Energy Technology; 8 (12, 2000134) 2020. 10.1002/ente.202000134. IF: 3.404

  • Consensus statement for stability assessment and reporting for perovskite photovoltaics based on ISOS procedures

    Khenkin M.V., Katz E.A., Abate A., Bardizza G., Berry J.J., Brabec C., Brunetti F., Bulović V., Burlingame Q., Di Carlo A., Cheacharoen R., Cheng Y.-B., Colsmann A., Cros S., Domanski K., Dusza M., Fell C.J., Forrest S.R., Galagan Y., Di Girolamo D., Grätzel M., Hagfeldt A., von Hauff E., Hoppe H., Kettle J., Köbler H., Leite M.S., Liu S.F., Loo Y.-L., Luther J.M., Ma C.-Q., Madsen M., Manceau M., Matheron M., McGehee M., Meitzner R., Nazeeruddin M.K., Nogueira A.F., Odabaşı Ç., Osherov A., Park N.-G., Reese M.O., De Rossi F., Saliba M., Schubert U.S., Snaith H.J., Stranks S.D., Tress W., Troshin P.A., Turkovic V., Veenstra S., Visoly-Fisher I., Walsh A., Watson T., Xie H., Yıldırım R., Zakeeruddin S.M., Zhu K., Lira-Cantu M. Nature Energy; 5 (1): 35 - 49. 2020. 10.1038/s41560-019-0529-5. IF: 46.495

  • Effects of the methylammonium ion substitution by 5-ammoniumvaleric acid in lead trihalide perovskite solar cells: a combined experimental and theoretical investigation

    Urzúa-Leiva R., Narymany Shandy A., Xie H., Lira-Cantú M., Cárdenas-Jirón G. New Journal of Chemistry; 44 (34): 14642 - 14649. 2020. 10.1039/d0nj02748k. IF: 3.288

  • Multi-component engineering to enable long-term operational stability of perovskite solar cells

    Haibing Xie, Monica Lira-Cantu Journal of Physics Energy; 2 (3, 24008) 2020. 10.1088/2515-7655/ab8278. IF: 0.000

  • Recent advances in fiber-shaped and planar-shaped textile solar cells

    Hatamvand M., Kamrani E., Lira-Cantú M., Madsen M., Patil B.R., Vivo P., Mehmood M.S., Numan A., Ahmed I., Zhan Y. Nano Energy; 71 (104609) 2020. 10.1016/j.nanoen.2020.104609. IF: 16.602


  • Boosting Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation of Hematite in Acidic Electrolytes by Surface State Modification

    Tang P.-Y., Han L.-J., Hegner F.S., Paciok P., Biset-Peiró M., Du H.-C., Wei X.-K., Jin L., Xie H.-B., Shi Q., Andreu T., Lira-Cantú M., Heggen M., Dunin-Borkowski R.E., López N., Galán-Mascarós J.R., Morante J.R., Arbiol J. Advanced Energy Materials; 9 (34, 1901836) 2019. 10.1002/aenm.201901836. IF: 24.884

  • Giant bulk photovoltaic effect in solar cell architectures with ultra-wide bandgap Ga2O3 transparent conducting electrodes

    Pérez-Tomás A., Chikoidze E., Dumont Y., Jennings M.R., Russell S.O., Vales-Castro P., Catalan G., Lira-Cantú M., Ton –That C., Teherani F.H., Sandana V.E., Bove P., Rogers D.J. Materials Today Energy; 14 (100350) 2019. 10.1016/j.mtener.2019.100350. IF: 0.000

  • Impact of P3HT materials properties and layer architecture on OPV device stability

    Meitzner R., Faber T., Alam S., Amand A., Roesch R., Büttner M., Herrmann-Westendorf F., Presselt M., Ciammaruchi L., Visoly-Fisher I., Veenstra S., Diaz de Zerio A., Xu X., Wang E., Müller C., Troshin P., Hager M.D., Köhn S., Dusza M., Krassas M., Züfle S., Kymakis E., Katz E.A., Berson S., Granek F., Manceau M., Brunetti F., Polino G., Schubert U.S., Lira-Cantu M., Hoppe H. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells; 202 (110151) 2019. 10.1016/j.solmat.2019.110151. IF: 6.019

  • PbZrTiO 3 ferroelectric oxide as an electron extraction material for stable halide perovskite solar cells

    Pérez-Tomas A., Xie H., Wang Z., Kim H.-S., Shirley I., Turren-Cruz S.-H., Morales-Melgares A., Saliba B., Tanenbaum D., Saliba M., Zakeeruddin S.M., Gratzel M., Hagfeldt A., Lira-Cantu M. Sustainable Energy and Fuels; 3 (2): 382 - 389. 2019. 10.1039/c8se00451j. IF: 4.912

  • Towards Oxide Electronics: a Roadmap

    Coll M., Fontcuberta J., Althammer M., Bibes M., Boschker H., Calleja A., Cheng G., Cuoco M., Dittmann R., Dkhil B., El Baggari I., Fanciulli M., Fina I., Fortunato E., Frontera C., Fujita S., Garcia V., Goennenwein S.T.B., Granqvist C.-G., Grollier J., Gross R., Hagfeldt A., Herranz G., Hono K., Houwman E., Huijben M., Kalaboukhov A., Keeble D.J., Koster G., Kourkoutis L.F., Levy J., Lira-Cantu M., MacManus-Driscoll J.L., Mannhart J., Martins R., Menzel S., Mikolajick T., Napari M., Nguyen M.D., Niklasson G., Paillard C., Panigrahi S., Rijnders G., Sánchez F., Sanchis P., Sanna S., Schlom D.G., Schroeder U., Shen K.M., Siemon A., Spreitzer M., Sukegawa H., Tamayo R., van den Brink J., Pryds N., Granozio F.M. Applied Surface Science; 482: 1 - 93. 2019. 10.1016/j.apsusc.2019.03.312. IF: 5.155


  • A Solar Transistor and Photoferroelectric Memory

    Pérez-Tomás A., Lima A., Billon Q., Shirley I., Catalan G., Lira-Cantú M. Advanced Functional Materials; 28 (17, 1707099) 2018. 10.1002/adfm.201707099. IF: 13.325

  • Interfacial Engineering of Metal Oxides for Highly Stable Halide Perovskite Solar Cells

    Mingorance A., Xie H., Kim H.-S., Wang Z., Balsells M., Morales-Melgares A., Domingo N., Kazuteru N., Tress W., Fraxedas J., Vlachopoulos N., Hagfeldt A., Lira-Cantu M. Advanced Materials Interfaces; 5 (22, 1800367) 2018. 10.1002/admi.201800367. IF: 4.834

  • Reconsidering figures of merit for performance and stability of perovskite photovoltaics

    Khenkin M.V., Anoop K.M., Visoly-Fisher I., Galagan Y., Di Giacomo F., Patil B.R., Sherafatipour G., Turkovic V., Rubahn H.-G., Madsen M., Merckx T., Uytterhoeven G., Bastos J.P.A., Aernouts T., Brunetti F., Lira-Cantu M., Katz E.A. Energy and Environmental Science; 11 (4): 739 - 743. 2018. 10.1039/c7ee02956j. IF: 30.067


  • Effect of cs-incorporated NiOx on the performance of perovskite solar cells

    Kim H.-S., Seo J.-Y., Xie H., Lira-Cantu M., Zakeeruddin S.M., Gratzel M., Hagfeldt A. ACS Omega; 2 (12): 9074 - 9079. 2017. 10.1021/acsomega.7b01179.

  • Incorporation of Counter Ions in Organic Molecules: New Strategy in Developing Dopant-Free Hole Transport Materials for Efficient Mixed-Ion Perovskite Solar Cells

    Zhang J., Xu B., Yang L., Mingorance A., Ruan C., Hua Y., Wang L., Vlachopoulos N., Lira-Cantú M., Boschloo G., Hagfeldt A., Sun L., Johansson E.M.J. Advanced Energy Materials; 7 (14) 2017. 10.1002/aenm.201602736. IF: 16.721

  • Perovskite solar cells: Stability lies at interfaces

    Lira-Cantú M. Nature Energy; 2 (7, 17115) 2017. 10.1038/nenergy.2017.115. IF: 9.086

  • The Future of Semiconductor Oxides in Next-Generation Solar Cells

    Lira-Cantú M. The Future of Semiconductor Oxides in Next-Generation Solar Cells; : 1 - 543. 2017. .


  • Above-Bandgap Photovoltages in Antiferroelectrics

    Pérez-Tomás A., Lira-Cantú M., Catalan G. Advanced Materials; 28 (43): 9644 - 9647. 2016. 10.1002/adma.201603176. IF: 18.960

  • Comparative indoor and outdoor degradation of organic photovoltaic cells via inter-laboratory collaboration

    Owens C., Ferguson G.M., Hermenau M., Voroshazi E., Galagan Y., Zimmermann B., Rösch R., Angmo D., Teran-Escobar G., Uhrich C., Andriessen R., Hoppe H., Würfel U., Lira-Cantu M., Krebs F.C., Tanenbaum D.M. Polymers; 8 (1, 1) 2016. 10.3390/polym8010001. IF: 2.944

  • EU COST Action MP1307 - Unravelling the degradation mechanisms of emerging solar cell technologies

    Aernouts T., Brunetti F., De La Fuente J., Espinosa N., Urbina A., Fonrodona M., Lira-Cantu M., Galagan Y., Hoppe H., Katz E., Ramos M., Riede M., Vandewal K., Veenstra S., Von Hauff E. Proceedings of the 18th Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference: Intelligent and Efficient Technolo; ( 7495310) 2016. 10.1109/MELCON.2016.7495310.

  • Flexible ITO-free organic solar cells applying aqueous solution-processed V2O5 hole transport layer: An outdoor stability study

    Lima F.A.S., Beliatis M.J., Roth B., Andersen T.R., Bortoti A., Reyna Y., Castro E., Vasconcelos I.F., Gevorgyan S.A., Krebs F.C., Lira-Cantu M. APL Materials; 4 (2, 026104) 2016. 10.1063/1.4942638. IF: 4.323

  • Performance and stability of mixed FAPbI3(0.85)MAPbBr3(0.15) halide perovskite solar cells under outdoor conditions and the effect of low light irradiation

    Reyna Y., Salado M., Kazim S., Pérez-Tomas A., Ahmad S., Lira-Cantu M. Nano Energy; 30: 570 - 579. 2016. 10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.10.053. IF: 11.553


  • Comparative indoor and outdoor degradation of organic photovoltaic cells via inter-laboratory collaboration

    Owens C., Ferguson G.M., Hermenau M., Voroshazi E., Galagan Y., Zimmermann B., Rosch R., Angamo D., Teran G., Uhrich C., Andriessen R., Hoppe H., Wurfel U., Lira-Cantu M., Krebs F., Tanenbaum D. 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015; (7356178) 2015. 10.1109/PVSC.2015.7356178.

  • Electrochemically synthesized mesoporous thin films of ZnO for highly efficient dye sensitized solar cells

    Lima F.A.S., Vasconcelos I.F., Lira-Cantu M. Ceramics International; 41 (8, 10350): 9314 - 9320. 2015. 10.1016/j.ceramint.2015.03.271. IF: 2.605

  • Emerging thin-film photovoltaics: Stabilize or Perish

    Von Hauff E., Lira-Cantu M., Brown T.M., Hoppe H. Advanced Energy Materials; 5 (20, 1501924) 2015. 10.1002/aenm.201501924. IF: 16.146

  • Enhanced photovoltaic performance of inverted hybrid bulk-heterojunction solar cells using TiO2/reduced graphene oxide films as electron transport layers

    Morais A., Alves J.P.C., Lima F.A.S., Lira-Cantu M., Nogueira A.F. Journal of Photonics for Energy; 5 (1, 57408) 2015. 10.1117/1.JPE.5.057408. IF: 1.366

  • Procedures and practices for evaluating thin-film solar cell stability

    Roesch R., Faber T., Von Hauff E., Brown T.M., Lira-Cantu M., Hoppe H. Advanced Energy Materials; 5 (20, 1501407) 2015. 10.1002/aenm.201501407. IF: 16.146

  • Vertically Aligned ZnO/Inx S y Core-Shell Nanorods for High Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

    Gonzalez-Valls I., Ballesteros B., Lira-Cantu M. Nano; 10 (7, 1550103) 2015. 10.1142/S1793292015501039. IF: 1.090


  • A round robin study of flexible large-area roll-to-roll processed polymer solar cell modules

    Monica Lira-Cantu; ichael Gratzel; Panagiotis Lianos; Eugene A. Katz; Wolfgang Lohwasser; Bertrand Jannon et al. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells; 2009. .


  • Hybrid materials based on Vanadyl Phosphate and Conducting Polymers as Cathodes in Rechargeable Lithium Cells.

    A. Karina Cuentas-Gallegos; R. Vijayaraghavan; Mónica Lira-Cantú; Nieves Casañ-Pastor; Pedro Gómez-Romero Boletin de la Sociedad Espanola de Ceramica y Vidrio; 43 (2): 429 - 433. 2004. .