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The formation of a dense and uniform thin layer on the substrates is crucial for the fabrication of high-performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs) containing formamidinium with multiple cations and mixed halide anions. The concentration of defect states, which reduce a cell’s performance by decreasing the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current density, needs to be as low as possible. We show that the introduction of additional iodide ions into the organic cation solution, which are used to form the perovskite layers through an intramolecular exchanging process, decreases the concentration of deep-level defects. The defect-engineered thin perovskite layers enable the fabrication of PSCs with a certified power conversion efficiency of 22.1% in small cells and 19.7% in 1-square-centimeter cells.