Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Mixed Organic Cations Promote Ambient Light-Induced Formation of Metallic Lead in Lead Halide Perovskite Crystals

One major concern toward the performance and stability of halide perovskite-based optoelectronic devices is the formation of metallic lead that promotes nonradiative recombination of charge carriers. The origin of metallic lead formation is being disputed whether it occurs during the perovskite synthesis or only after light, electron, or X-ray beam irradiation or thermal annealing. Here, we show that the quantity of metallic lead detected in perovskite crystals depends on the concentration and composition of the precursor solution. Through a controlled crystallization process, we grew black-colored mixed dimethylammonium (DMA)/methylammonium (MA) lead tribromide crystals. The black color is suggested to be due to the presence of small lead clusters. Despite the unexpected black coloring, the crystals show higher crystallinity and less defect density with respect to the
standard yellow-colored DMA/MAPbBr3 crystals, as indicated by X-ray rocking curve and dark current measurements, respectively. While the formation of metallic lead could still be induced by external factors, the precursor solution composition and concentration can facilitate the formation of metallic lead during the crystallization process. Our results indicate that additional research is required to fully understand the perovskite precursor solution chemistry.

ACS applied materials & interfaces (Print)
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Aniruddha Ray, Beatriz Martín-García, Mirko Prato, Anna Moliterni, Simone Bordignon, Davide Spirito, Sergio Marras, Luca Goldoni, Karunakara Moorthy Boopathi, Fabrizio Moro, Nicola Pietro Maria Casati, Carlotta Giacobbe, Makhsud I. Saidaminov, Cinzia Giannini, Michele R. Chierotti, Roman Krahne, Liberato Manna, and Ahmed L. Abdelhady