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Solvent and A‑Site Cation Control Preferred Crystallographic Orientation in Bromine-Based Perovskite Thin Films

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posted on 2023-05-25, 11:39 authored by Juanita Hidalgo, Yu An, Dariia Yehorova, Ruipeng Li, Joachim Breternitz, Carlo A.R. Perini, Armin Hoell, Pablo P. Boix, Susan Schorr, Joshua S. Kretchmer, Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena
Preferred crystallographic orientation in polycrystalline films is desirable for efficient charge carrier transport in metal halide perovskites and semiconductors. However, the mechanisms that determine the preferred orientation of halide perovskites are still not well understood. In this work, we investigate crystallographic orientation in lead bromide perovskites. We show that the solvent of the precursor solution and organic A-site cation strongly affect the preferred orientation of the deposited perovskite thin films. Specifically, we show that the solvent, dimethylsulfoxide, influences the early stages of crystallization and induces preferred orientation in the deposited films by preventing colloidal particle interactions. Additionally, the methylammonium A-site cation induces a higher degree of preferred orientation than the formamidinium counterpart. We use density functional theory to show that the lower surface energy of the (100) plane facets in methylammonium-based perovskites, compared to the (110) planes, is the reason for the higher degree of preferred orientation. In contrast, the surface energy of the (100) and (110) facets is similar for formamidinium-based perovskites, leading to lower degree of preferred orientation. Furthermore, we show that different A-site cations do not significantly affect ion diffusion in bromine-based perovskite solar cells but impact ion density and accumulation, leading to increased hysteresis. Our work highlights the interplay between the solvent and organic A-site cation which determine crystallographic orientation and plays a critical role in the electronic properties and ionic migration of solar cells.