Thermal unequilibrium of strained black CsPbI3 thin films

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Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, pp. 679-684
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax3878

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Strain-stabilized perovskites

The perovskite materials used for solar cells and light-emitting diodes (which are black in color) are generally less stable at room temperature than the electronically inactive nonperovskite phases (which are yellow in color). Steele et al. show that for CsPbI3, strain induced in a thin film after annealing the material to 330°C and then rapidly cooling it to room temperature kinetically trapped the black phase. Grazing-incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering revealed the crystal distortions and texture formation created by interfacial strain.

Science, this issue p. 679


The high-temperature, all-inorganic CsPbI3 perovskite black phase is metastable relative to its yellow, nonperovskite phase at room temperature. Because only the black phase is optically active, this represents an impediment for the use of CsPbI3 in optoelectronic devices. We report the use of substrate clamping and biaxial strain to render black-phase CsPbI3 thin films stable at room temperature. We used synchrotron-based, grazing incidence, wide-angle x-ray scattering to track the introduction of crystal distortions and strain-driven texture formation within black CsPbI3 thin films when they were cooled after annealing at 330°C. The thermal stability of black CsPbI3 thin films is vastly improved by the strained interface, a response verified by ab initio thermodynamic modeling.

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