What Happens at Surfaces and Grain Boundaries of Halide Perovskites: Insights from Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations of CsPbI3

Mike Pols, Tobias Hilpert, Ivo A.W. Filot, Adri C.T. Van Duin, Sofía Calero, Shuxia Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The commercialization of perovskite solar cells is hindered by the poor long-term stability of the metal halide perovskite (MHP) light-absorbing layer. Solution processing, the common fabrication method for MHPs, produces polycrystalline films with a wide variety of defects, such as point defects, surfaces, and grain boundaries. Although the optoelectronic effects of such defects have been widely studied, the evaluation of their impact on the long-term stability remains challenging. In particular, an understanding of the dynamics of degradation reactions at the atomistic scale is lacking. In this work, using reactive force field (ReaxFF) molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the effects of defects, in the forms of surfaces, surface defects, and grain boundaries, on the stability of the inorganic halide perovskite CsPbI3. Our simulations establish a stability trend for a variety of surfaces, which correlates well with the occurrence of these surfaces in experiments. We find that a perovskite surface degrades by progressively changing the local geometry of PbIxoctahedra from corner- to edge- to face-sharing. Importantly, we find that Pb dangling bonds and the lack of steric hindrance of I species are two crucial factors that induce degradation reactions. Finally, we show that the stability of these surfaces can be modulated by adjusting their atomistic details, by either creating additional point defects or merging them to form grain boundaries. While in general additional defects, particularly when clustered, have a negative impact on the material stability, some grain boundaries have a stabilizing effect, primarily because of the additional steric hindrance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40841-40850
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume14
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science

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