Application Number: 15854596 Application Date: 26.12.2017
Publication Number: 20180204682 Publication Date: 19.07.2018
Publication Kind : A1
IPC:
H01G 9/20
H01L 51/00
C07F 7/24
H01G 9/00
H01L 51/42
H01L 51/44
CPC:
C07F 7/24
H01G 9/0029
H01G 9/2004
H01G 9/2077
H01L 51/0025
H01L 51/0077
H01L 51/4253
H01L 51/441
H01L 51/448
Applicants: Javier Vela-Becerra
Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
Bryan A. Rosales
Inventors: Javier Vela-Becerra
Bryan A. Rosales
Priority Data:
Title: (EN) SOLVENT-FREE, SOLID PHASE SYNTHESIS OF HYBRID LEAD HALIDE PEROVSKITES WITH SUPERIOR PURITY
Abstract: front page image

(EN)

A method of synthesizing a mixed-halide perovskite is disclosed herein. The method includes the steps of mixing a first single-halide perovskite and a second single-halide perovskite to form a solid phase mixture and heating the solid phase mixture at a temperature below a first decomposition temperature of the first single-halide perovskite and below a second decomposition temperature of the second single-halide perovskite for a time sufficient to form the mixed-halide perovskite. During the mixing, the first and second single-halide perovskite are both in the solid phase. A mixed-halide perovskite made according to the method is also disclosed herein. The mixed-halide perovskite is free of amorphous and/or semicrystalline phases. The mixed-halide perovskite can be utilized in a photovoltaic cell in a solar panel.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

      This patent application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/447,800, filed Jan. 18, 2017, the entire teachings and disclosure of which are incorporated herein by reference thereto.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

      This invention was made in part with Government support under Grant Number DE-AC02-07CH11358 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

      This invention generally relates to perovskite compounds and, more particularly, to a method for preparing hybrid lead, mixed-halide perovskite compounds without using a solvent.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

      Perovskites are optically active, semiconducting compounds that are known to display intriguing electronic, light-emitting and chemical properties. Over the last few years, lead-halide perovskites have become one of the most promising semiconductors for solar cells due to their low cost, easier processability, and high power conversion efficiencies. Photovoltaics made of these materials now reach power conversion efficiencies of more than 20 percent.
      Halides are simple and abundant, negatively charged compounds, such as iodide, bromide and chloride. Mixed-halide perovskites are of interest over single-halide perovskites for a variety of reasons. Mixed-halide perovskites appear to benefit from enhanced thermal and moisture stability, which makes them degrade less quickly than single-halide perovskites. They can be fine-tuned to absorb sunlight at specific wavelengths, which makes them useful for tandem solar cells and many other applications, including light emitting diodes (LEDs). Using these compounds, scientists can control the color and increase the efficiency of such energy conversion devices.
      Scientists have found that depending on how the material is made there can be significant nonstoichiometric impurities or “dopants” permeating the material, which could significantly affect the material’s chemistry, moisture stability and transport properties.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

      In one aspect, methods of synthesizing a mixed-halide perovskite are provided. Generally, embodiments of the disclosed methods include the steps of mixing a first single-halide perovskite and a second single-halide perovskite to form a solid-phase mixture and heating the solid phase mixture at a temperature below a first decomposition temperature of the first single-halide perovskite and below a second decomposition temperature of the second single-halide perovskite for a time sufficient to form the mixed-halide perovskite. During mixing, the first single-halide perovskite and the second single-halide perovskite are both in the solid phase.
      In a particular embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3. In such an embodiment, the temperature is generally approximately 200° C. Additionally, the time can be between 0.5 and 1 hour.
      In another particular embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and a is between 0 and 3. In still another particular embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula APbX 3-aX′ a, A is an alkali metal, X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and a is between 0 and 3. Moreover, A is Rb or Cs. In still another particular embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ a, A is an alkali metal, A′ is an organic cation, X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and a is between 0 and 3. For instance, A can be Rb or Cs, and A′ can be CH 3NH or HC(NH 22.
      According to certain embodiments of the method disclosed herein, the mixed-halide perovskite can be free of any semicrystalline phases.
      In certain embodiments, the method further includes the step of annealing the mixed-halide perovskite at a temperature of approximately 200° C. for up to 1 hour (e.g., in a vial) and 72 hours (e.g., as a film).
      In another aspect, a mixed-halide perovskite made according to the described method is provided. In certain embodiments, the mixed-halide perovskite is free of amorphous and/or semicrystalline phases.
      In certain embodiments, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ in which X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl and in which a is between 0 and 3. In certain other embodiments, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, in which X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and in which a is between 0 and 3. In still other embodiments, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula APbX 3-aX′ a, in which A is an alkali metal, in which X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and in which a is between 0 and 3. Particularly, A can be Rb or Cs. In still another particular embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ a, A is an alkali metal, A′ is an organic cation, X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and a is between 0 and 3. For example, A can be Rb or Cs, and A′ can be CH 3NH or HC(NH 22.
      In still another aspect, a photovoltaic cell is provided herein. The photovoltaic cell includes a transparent cover, a first contact strip, a p-type semiconductor, a junction layer, an n-type semiconductor, and a second contact strip. The junction layer is a mixed-halide perovskite that is free of amorphous and semicrystalline phases.
      In embodiments, the mixed-halide perovskite used as the junction layer has the formula CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ a, in which X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and in which a is between 0 and 3. In other embodiments, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, in which X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl and in which a is between 0 and 3. In still another embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula APbX 3-aX′ a, in which A is an alkali metal, in which X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and in which a is between 0 and 3. Particularly, A can be Rb or Cs. In still another particular embodiment, the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ a, A is an alkali metal, A′ is an organic cation, X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and a is between 0 and 3. In exemplary embodiments, A can be Rb or Cs, and A′ can be CH 3NH or HC(NH 22. The photovoltaic cell can be used in a solar panel.
      Other aspects, objectives and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

      The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.
      The accompanying drawings incorporated in and forming a part of the specification illustrate several aspects of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:
       FIGS. 1A and 1B depict 207Pb δ iso as a function of average halogen Pauling electronegativity ( FIG. 1A) and band gap ( FIG. 1B) for PbX (X=I, Br, Cl);
       FIGS. 2A and 2B include a representative visual image ( FIG. 2A) and diffuse reflectance data ( FIG. 2B; N.B. the minimum at 400 nm in FIG. 2B is an instrumental artifact) of solid lead halide perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis or thermal annealing (as either method gives similar results);
       FIGS. 3A and 3B depict powder XRD patterns ( FIG. 3A), lattice parameter and absorption edge data ( FIG. 3B) as a function of relative halide synthetic loading (%) for lead halide perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis;
       FIGS. 4A-4E depict representative SEM images of CH 3NH 3PbI FIG. 4A), CH 3NH 3PbBr FIG. 4C), and CH 3NH 3PbCl FIG. 4E) made by solution phase synthesis and of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ ( FIG. 4B) and ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ ( FIG. 4D) made by solid phase synthesis;
       FIG. 5 depicts static 207Pb ssNMR spectra (22° C.) of representative lead single- and mixed-halide perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis, thermal annealing, and solid phase synthesis (black curves were fit to mixed Gaussian/Lorentzian peaks);
       FIG. 6 depicts 207Pb ssNMR isotropic chemical shifts (δ iso at 22° C.) observed in single- and mixed-halide lead perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis as a function of average electronegativity and band gap;
       FIGS. 7A and 7B depict 207Pb ssNMR spectra of PbX (X=I, Br, Cl) under 5 kHz ( FIG. 7A) and 10 kHz ( FIG. 7B) spinning conditions at 22° C.;
       FIGS. 8A and 8B depict 207Pb ssNMR spectra of single- and mixed-halide lead perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis under static ( FIG. 8A) and 10 kHz ( FIG. 8B) spinning conditions at 22° C. (solid black lines were fit using Bruker’s Topspin 3.0 software);
       FIG. 9 depicts a comparison of 207Pb ssNMR spectra collected at different magnetic field strengths (9.4 T, 400 MHz and 16.4 T, 600 MHz) and rotor sample rotation rates (static samples or samples undergoing MAS with a frequency of 50 kHz);
       FIGS. 10A and 10B depict 207Pb ssNMR isotropic chemical shifts (δ iso at 22° C.) of single- and 1:1 mixed-halide lead perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis, thermal annealing, and solid phase synthesis as a function of halide composition;
       FIGS. 11A-11D schematically depict possible compositional assignments for the mixed halide perovskites ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ ( FIG. 11A or FIG. 11B), ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr1.5Cl 1.5’ ( FIG. 11C), and ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Cl 1.5’ ( FIG. 11D) made by solution phase synthesis and thermal annealing;
       FIGS. 12A-12E depict a visual image ( FIG. 12A), diffuse reflectance ( FIG. 12B), Tauc plot ( FIG. 12C), band gap ( FIG. 12D), and powder XRD data ( FIG. 12E) for ‘CH 3NH3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ made by thermal annealing to different temperatures (annealing to 250° C. results in partial decomposition to PbIBr);
       FIGS. 13A-13E a visual image ( FIG. 13A), diffuse reflectance ( FIG. 13B), Tauc plot ( FIG. 13C), band gap ( FIG. 13D), and powder XRD data ( FIG. 13E) for ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr1.5Cl 1.5’ made by thermal annealing to different temperatures;
       FIGS. 14A-14C depict a visual image ( FIG. 14A), Tauc plot ( FIG. 14B), and powder XRD patterns ( FIG. 14C) for ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ made by solid phase synthesis starting from an equimolar mixture of CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr 3;
       FIGS. 15A and 15B depict the effect of annealing temperature on the lattice parameter and band gap ( FIG. 15A) and single crystalline (Scherrer) domain size ( FIG. 15B) measured by XRD during the solid phase synthesis of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ starting from a near equimolar mixture of CH 3NH 3PbI (solid circles) and CH 3NH 3PbBr (open circles); and
       FIGS. 16A-16J depict images of certain stages of preparation of solid phase synthesized hybrid lead, mixed halide perovskites;
       FIG. 17 depicts converging absorbance spectra for each side of the hybrid lead, mixed halide perovskite films made according to the disclosed solid phase synthesis method;
       FIGS. 18A and 18B depict XRD data for a hybrid lead, mixed halide perovskites made according to the disclosed solid phase synthesis method;
       FIGS. 19A and 19B depict a solar panel, including a photovoltaic cell, which is comprised of a mixed-halide perovskite made according to the method disclosed herein and according to exemplary embodiments.

      While the invention will be described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, there is no intent to limit it to those embodiments. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

      Hybrid lead halide perovskites (such as CH 3NH 3PbX 3, X=I, Br, Cl) have emerged as promising semiconductors for photovoltaics due to their low cost, solution processability, and high power conversion efficiencies (>21-22%). Among their many interesting properties, hybrid lead halide perovskites benefit from large absorption coefficients, low exciton binding energies, long exciton diffusion lengths, high dielectric constants, and intrinsic ferroelectric polarization. In particular, organolead mixed-halide perovskites, such as methylammonium and formamidinium lead halide perovskites (CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ and HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, respectively; X, X′=I, Br, Cl), are of particular interest because they appear to further benefit from enhanced moisture stability, improved carrier relaxation time, and visible range tunability. Other interesting perovskites include alkali-metal lead halide perovskites (e.g., APbX 3-aX′ a; A=Rb or Cs; X, X′=I, Br, Cl). Still further, perovskites can include both alkali metals and organic cations. These perovskites have the formula A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ (A is an alkali metal such as Rb or Cs; A′ is an organic cation such as CH 3NH or HC(NH 22; X, X′=I, Br, Cl). Such mixed-halide perovskites are useful in tandem solar cells, and because they also display intense photoluminescence, they have potential utility in light emitting devices (LEDs).
      The traditional solution phase approach to synthesize of hybrid lead mixed-halide perovskites results in the presence of a significant amount of impurities (ca. 74%) identified as semicrystalline phases. Importantly, because the best perovskite absorbing materials for photovoltaic solar cells are composed of such hybrid perovskites, namely those containing a mixture of multiple cations and anions in their structure, the presence or absence of these additional phases needs to be accounted for and controlled in order to reliably understand and improve device performance or properties.
      In order to address the deficiencies of solution phase synthesis of hybrid lead, mixed-halide perovskites, a solid phase synthesis approach is disclosed herein. In brief, the solid phase synthesis approach involves mixing two single-halide perovskites at a desired stoichiometric ratio and heating them in the absence of solvent(s) at a temperature below their decomposition temperature for a set period of time. The desired products form without the formation of amorphous impurities or semicrystalline phases. Through the use of extensive physical characterization techniques, including 207Pb solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) spectroscopy, it can be demonstrated that solid phase synthesis is greatly superior to traditional wet or solution phase synthesis methods in preparing hybrid lead mixed-halide perovskites.
      Among the techniques used to study the lead halide perovskites, 207Pb ssNMR provided valuable information. NMR, in general, is an analytical chemistry technique that provides scientists with physical, chemical, structural and electronic information about complex samples. Because the 207Pb nucleus is highly sensitive to local electronic structure, 207Pb ssNMR can probe all crystalline, semicrystalline, and amorphous phases, and provide information about the different lead sites that may be present in mixed-halide perovskites. In particular, 207Pb ssNMR is highly sensitive to local electronic structure, coordination environment, ligand electronegativity, and temperature because the207Pb nucleus has a spin of ½, 22.6% natural abundance, and a chemical shift (δ) range spanning over 10,000 ppm. For example, the 207Pb isotropic chemical shift (δ iso) of the lead dihalides (PbX 2; X=I, Br, Cl) varies linearly with halide electronegativity and ionization energy as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.
      In the experimental studies conducted in support of the present disclosure, 207Pb solid state (ss) NMR spectra were measured on a Bruker Widebore 14.1 T (600 MHz) NMR spectrometer equipped with an AVANCE-II console. All spectra were acquired using a 4 mm magic-angle spinning (MAS) probe in double resonance mode. Samples were packed into 4 mm Kel-F rotor inserts, which were then inserted into a 4 mm zirconia rotor. The rotor inserts were used to prevent contamination and for center packing, ensuring very little sample would be outside of the radiofrequency coil. The 207Pb resonant frequency was 125.55 MHz with the carrier frequency adjusted depending on the varying Pb chemical shifts of each sample. Pb(NO 3(δ=−3490 ppm, 22° C.) was used as an external calibration standard. The DEPTH pulse sequence (Bruker’s standard “zgbs” pulse sequence) was used to obtain both static and MAS 207Pb spectra; this pulse sequence consists of an initial 90° pulse, followed by two 180° pulses spaced by a 2 μs delay. This pulse sequence eliminates very broad probe background 207Pb NMR signals, which are likely due to lead in the probe’s soldering and electronics.
      A 90° pulse length of 3.5 μs was used, with pulse power levels calibrated on Pb(NO 32. Spectra were acquired with a 2.1 ms acquisition time and a 10 s recycle delay after each scan. Measurements of 207Pb longitudinal relaxation times (T 1) for the pure halide phases under static conditions showed that the 207Pb T was less than 1.4 s in all samples. Therefore, the recycle delay of 10 s provided quantitative signal intensities, which is consistent with the short 207Pb T 1‘s reported in other lead-containing semiconductors. Static and 10 kHz MAS spectra were collected over a period of 1-6 days per sample. To confirm that the observed 207Pb NMR spectral broadening was primarily homogeneous, selected spectra were also acquired at a lower magnetic field of 9.4 T under both static and MAS conditions. The 9.4 T experiments were performed on a Bruker wide-bore 400 MHz solid state NMR spectrometer equipped with an AVANCE III HD console.
      A 4 mm HXY triple resonance probe configured in a double resonance 1H- 207Pb mode was used for experiments on the mixed-halide perovskites ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br1.5’ and ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’. 4.95 μs 207Pb 90° pulse widths were used. A 1.3 mm double resonance broadband probe was used for acquisition of 207Pb ssNMR spectra of the pure halide perovskites at 9.4 T. MAS 207Pb ssNMR spectra were acquired with an MAS frequency of 50 kHz and a rotor synchronized spin echo that had a 40 μs total duration composed of two rotor periods. 1.4 μs 90° and 2.81 μs 180° pulses were used. All 207Pb NMR spectra were fit to simple mixed Gaussian/Lorentzian peaks using the solid line shape analysis (SOLA) module v2.2.4 included in the Bruker TopSpin v3.0 software.
      Using 207Pb ssNMR in combination with UV-vis optical absorption and powder X-ray diffraction, the presence of both nonstoichiometric dopants and phase segregation in lead mixed-halide perovskites were able to be observed, including in samples that were thermally annealed to 200° C. Phase segregation, i.e., forming semicrystalline or amorphous products, occurred when the sample was made by solution phase synthesis, even after thermal annealing, but not when made by the solid phase synthesis method disclosed herein.
      For the purposes of comparison, the preparation and resulting properties of solution phase synthesized samples are discussed first. Organolead single- and mixed-halide perovskites (CH 3NH 3PbX 3) were prepared by precipitation from solution. As used herein, hypothetical formulas calculated from the synthetic loading alone are written in single quotation marks whereas actual compositional assignments determined from the combination of all of the gathered experimental data are written without single quotation marks.
      Briefly, for the solution phase synthesis of halide methylamine precursors, hydroiodic acid (10 mL, 0.075 mol) or hydrobromic acid. (8.6 mL, 0.075 mol) or hydrochloric acid (6.2 mL, 0.075 mol) was added to a solution of excess methylamine (24 mL, 0.192 mol) in ethanol (100 mL) at 0° C., and the mixture was stirred for 2 hours. The mixture was concentrated and dried under vacuum at 60° C. for 12 hours, and recrystallized from ethanol. Lead(II) iodide (99%) and lead(II) bromide (98+%) were purchased from Acros Organics (Geel, Belgium); lead(II) chloride (99.999%) and methylamine solution (33 wt % in ethanol) from Sigma-Aldrich, Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.); hydroiodic acid (ACS, 55-58%), hydrobromic acid (ACS, 47.0-49.0%), hydrochloric acid (ACS, 37.2%), N,N-dimethylformamide (“DMF,” 99.9%), and toluene (99.9%) from Fisher Scientific (Porto Salvo, Portugal); acetonitrile (HPLC grade, 99.8%) from EMD Millipore (Darmstadt, Germany). All chemicals were used as received.
      For solution phase synthesis, CH 3NH 3PbI was synthesized by dissolving PbI (0.08 mmol) and CH 3NH 3I (0.24 mmol) in acetonitrile (20 mL), followed by precipitation via the addition of excess toluene. CH 3NH 3PbBr and CH 3NH 3PbCl were synthesized by dissolving PbBr (0.2 mmol) and CH 3NH 3Br (0.2 mmol) or PbCl (0.2 mmol) and CH3NH 3Cl (0.2 mmol) in DMF (5 mL) followed by precipitation via the addition of excess toluene. ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ was synthesized using the same procedure as CH 3NH3PbBr and CH 3NH 3PbCl 3, using 0.1 mmol of each of the four solid precursors. ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ was synthesized by dissolving PbI (0.072 mmol), CH 3NH 3I (0.216 mmol), PbBr (0.072 mmol), and CH 3NH 3Br (0.216 mmol) in a mixture of acetonitrile (20 mL) and DMF (200 μL), followed by precipitation via the addition of excess toluene. ‘CH3NH 3PbI 1.5Cl 1.5’ was synthesized by dissolving PbI (0.108 mmol), CH 3NH 3I (0.108 mmol), PbCl (0.108 mmol), and CH 3NH 3Cl (0.108 mmol) in DMF (3 mL). The mixture was concentrated and dried under vacuum, and the resulting solid could be annealed at 100° C. for 1 hour. In general, the solution phase synthesis is described according to Equation 1, below, where X, X′=I, Br, Cl; 3>a>0.

(NB)

      A progressive blue shift in the absorption edge, along with a color change from black to white, as shown in FIG. 2A, are immediately obvious as the perovskite composition changes from the less electronegative iodide to the more electronegative bromide and chloride. Iodo-bromide and bromo-chloride perovskites such as ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ and ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’, respectively, have absorption edges that lie in between those of the parent, single-halide perovskites. In contrast, the absorption edges of iodo-chloride perovskites such as ‘CH 3NH 3Pb 1.5Cl 1.5’ mirror that of CH 3NH 3PbI as shown in FIG. 2B.
       FIG. 3A shows the powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns for several lead halide perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis. XRD patterns were measured using Cu Kα radiation on a Rigaku Ultima IV (40 kV, 44 mA) using a “background-less” quartz sample holder. Scherrer analysis was performed using a κ value of 0.9. As shown in FIG. 3A, the XRD pattern of CH 3NH 3PbI matches the tetragonal standard pattern of its most stable room temperature phase, while those of CH 3NH 3PbBr and CH 3NH 3PbCl match their cubic standard patterns. Iodo-bromide and bromo-chloride perovskites such as ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ and ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’, respectively, show single sets of XRD peaks that are intermediate between those of the parent, pure halide perovskites. Scherrer analysis of the relatively broad XRD peaks of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ yields average single crystalline domain sizes of 36±12 nm. In contrast, iodo-chloride perovskites such as ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Cl 1.5’ show two distinct sets of XRD peaks that clearly correspond to a physical mixture of phase-segregated CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbCl (see FIG. 3A).
      Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed on the lead halide perovskite samples. In particular, SEM images were generated with an FEI Quanta 250 field emission SEM at 10-11.5 kV. Samples were prepared by deposition onto an SEM slide with carbon tape, followed by coating with 5 nm of iridium. FIGS. 4A-4E show SEM images of solution phase synthesis samples. The samples generally contain particles with sizes ranging from 0.3-2 μm.
      As shown in FIG. 3B, both the absorption edge and lattice parameter of mixed-halide perovskites show a nonlinear dependence or “bowing” on the iodide to bromide ratio, but vary linearly when transitioning from bromide to chloride. In other words, the absorption edge and lattice parameter of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 3-aBr a’ samples made with 0-50% bromide synthetic loading (0≤a≤1.5) are much closer to pure bromide than to iodide. In contrast, the lattice parameter and absorption edge of ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ lie halfway between pure bromide and chloride. The different behaviors displayed by different mixed-halide systems can be explained in part by crystallography. According to both Hume-Rothery and Vegard rules, tetragonal CH 3NH 3PbI and cubic CH 3NH 3PbBr may only partially alloy because they do not share the same crystal structure even though their lattice mismatch is small (6.4%) and their halogens have similar electronegativities (χ p=3.16 for I vs 2.96 for Br) (see Table 1, below).
      Cubic CH 3NH 3PbBr and cubic CH 3NH 3PbCl could form solid solutions because they adopt the same crystal structure, they have a small lattice mismatch (4.5%), and their halogens have similar electronegativities (χ p=2.96 for Br vs 2.66 for CO (see Table 1, below). CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbCl cannot be expected to form solid solutions to any significant extent because they form different crystal structures with a large lattice mismatch (11%) and their halogens have very different electronegativities (χ p=3.16 for I vs 2.66 for Cl) (see Table 1, below). Unsurprisingly, annealed films of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 3-aCl a’ do not seem to contain chloride within the detection limit of energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), implying that any incorporation of chloride in the crystal lattice (x) must be extremely low.
[TABLE-US-00001]

TABLE 1
Selected Data for CH3NH3PbXPerovskites
X Lattice parameters (Å) Δa (%)* χPX
I 6.3115(a), 6.3161(c) 6.4 3.16
Br 5.9345(a) 0 2.96
Cl 5.6694(a) −4.5 2.66
*Δa = 100 × [(a− aBr)/aBr]
       207Pb ssNMR was used to investigate alloying and phase segregation in the lead halides made via solution phase synthesis. As shown in FIG. 5, the 207Pb ssNMR spectra of the single-halide perovskites show one relatively broad peak. As shown in FIG. 6, the isotropic chemical shift (δ iso) moves progressively upfield (to lower ppm value) as the halogen electronegativity and perovskite band gap increase. Band gap values were estimated by extrapolating the linear slope of Tauc plots for direct band gap semiconductors ((absorbance x excitation energy in eV) over excitation energy in eV). This linear correlation is similar to that observed in the lead dihalides (PbX 2, X=I, Br, Cl) as shown inFIGS. 1A-1B and 7A-7B. In contrast, the 207Pb ssNMR spectra of mixed-halide perovskites made by solution phase synthesis exhibit multiple peaks ( FIG. 5). For example, the207Pb ssNMR spectra of mixed-halide perovskites made by solution phase synthesis with a 1:1 synthetic loading show two peaks each for ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ and ‘CH 3NH3PbI 1.5Cl 1.5’, and three peaks for ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’.
      In order to determine whether the presence of extra 207Pb peaks is the result of higher order NMR interactions or compositional sample variations, 207Pb ssNMR spectra were collected with and without sample spinning and at different magnetic fields. For example, the 207Pb ssNMR spectra of the ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ sample collected with a 10 kHz magic angle spinning (MAS) frequency and with a stationary (static) sample spinning are virtually indistinguishable; both show three similar peaks at 160, −117, and −379 ppm as shown in FIGS. 8A-8B. The presence of very broad 207Pb NMR line widths in all samples, in addition to the lack of narrowing from MAS, is consistent with the 207Pb ssNMR spectra of other lead-containing semiconductors.
      The full width at half-maximum (fwhm) of the 207Pb resonances is dependent on composition, going from ca. 253 ppm to 33 ppm between pure iodide and pure chloride perovskite, respectively. The 207Pb ssNMR signal broadening in these systems is likely primarily the result of homogeneous broadening. Additional control experiments using a lower magnetic field of 9.4 T (400 MHz) (as opposed to 16.4 T (600 MHz)) lead to similar 207Pb ssNMR spectra. Superior resolution was observed at the higher field of 16.4 T, which indicates that the broadening of the 207Pb ssNMR peaks is primarily homogeneous. This shows that chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) is unlikely to contribute to the observed broadening to a significant extent, because broadening would then increase with applied field.
      Longitudinal (T 1) and transverse (T 2′) 207Pb relaxation time constants were also measured for the single-halides as shown in Table 2, below. Static 207Pb ssNMR saturation recovery experiments yielded relatively short 207Pb T relaxation times between 1.1 and 1.4 s for all of the single-halide perovskites. Application of MAS lead to a dramatic reduction in the 207Pb T 1‘s for both CH 3NH 3PbI (T 1≈83 ms) and CH 3NH 3PbBr (T 1≈104 ms. For CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr 3, T 2‘s were short (less than 90 μs) under both MAS and static sample conditions and were nearly equal to T 2*, which was calculated from the full width at half-maximum of the 207Pb ssNMR peaks.
      Relaxation measurements directly confirm that the broadening is primarily homogeneous in nature. Both CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr had much shorter transverse relaxation times than CH 3NH 3PbCl 3, which suggests that dipolar/scalar coupling to the halogen nuclei could be responsible for the short transverse relaxation time constants. In summary, these observations indicate that the multiple 207Pb ssNMR peaks observed for the lead mixed-halide perovskites arise from distinct chemical species or phases that are actually present in each sample, and that the broadening of the different 207Pb peaks is primarily homogeneous in nature and does not arise from a distribution of isotropic chemical shifts or CSA.
[TABLE-US-00002]

TABLE 2
207Pb transverse and longitudinal relaxation time constants for CH3NH3PbX(X = I,
Br, Cl) at room temperature and a static magnetic field of 9.4 T (400 MHz)a
MAS at 50 kHz Static
T1 T2 fwhm T2* T1 T2 fwhm T2*
Compound (ms)b (μs)c (kHZ)d (μs)e (ms) (μs) (kHz) (μs)
CH3NH3PbI3 83 19 21.1 15 1069 26 25.9 12
(0.6) (0.70)
CH3NH3PbBr3 104 87 15.9 20 1538 63 14.4 21
(0.91) (1.0)
CH3NH3PbCl3 1657 552 3.0 107 1385 321 3.7 86
(0.37) (0.75)
aThe corresponding 207Pb ssNMR spectra are shown in FIG. 9.
bLongitudinal relaxation time constant measured with a saturation recovery experiment.
cRefocused transverse relaxation time constant measured with a spin echo experiment (rotor was synchronized in the case of MAS).
dFull width at half maximum (fwhm), measured by fitting the peak width of the 207Pb ssNMR spectrum to a mixed Gaussian/Lorentzian function. The Gaussian fraction is given in parentheses.
eApparent transverse relaxation time constant where T2* = 1/(π × fwhm).
      To explain the spectroscopic observations, each of the aforementioned ‘1:1’ mixed-halide perovskites is considered. Because δ iso varies linearly with average electronegativity and band gap ( FIG. 6), these values were used to estimate the chemical compositions of all observed 207Pb resonances from a calibration curve determined from the single-halide perovskites ( FIGS. 10A-10B).
      ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ prepared by solution phase synthesis has a single set of powder XRD peaks, indicating a single crystalline phase is present ( FIG. 3A); however, this sample has two resolved 207Pb ssNMR peaks located at 774 and 361 ppm (see Table 3, below, and FIG. 5). The first NMR peak located at 774 ppm is in between the pure (single-halide) iodide and bromide perovskites, but closer to the latter ( FIG. 10A); based on its chemical shift, the inventors attribute this resonance to the crystalline, bromide-rich perovskite CH 3NH 3PbIBr (Table 3, below). This assignment is consistent with both the optical and XRD data for this sample (see FIGS. 2B and 3A). The chemical shift of the second resonance at 361 ppm is identical to that of the pure bromide perovskite ( FIGS. 5 and 10A).
      However, this phase is absent from XRD and steady state optical measurements, which means that there could be two different, alternative assignments for it: (i) One possibility is the presence of amorphous, uncrystallized CH 3NH 3PbBr (as depicted schematically in FIG. 11A); (ii) Another possibility is that the whole sample consists of core/shell nanocrystals made of CH 3NH 3PbIBr cores surrounded by thin, semicrystalline CH 3NH 3PbBr shells (as depicted schematically in FIG. 11B). As in other similar nanostructures, thin CH 3NH 3PbBr shells would be hard to distinguish by XRD because they would diffract weakly. In addition, in a core/shell configuration, the CH 3NH 3PbBr 3— lattice would likely expand to better epitaxially fit onto the iodide-containing CH 3NH 3PbIBr core.
      However, quick and facile halide diffusion may argue against the presence of core/shells (see below). A comparison of relative peak areas suggests that the ratio between the crystalline (C) CH 3NH 3PbIBr and semicrystalline (A or/s) CH 3NH 3PbBr phases present in this particular sample is 26% to 74% (Table 3).
      A possible explanation for phase segregation during the solution phase synthesis of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ is the loss of iodide precursors to the supernatant. ICP-MS and titration analyses of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ samples made by this method suggest a somewhat variable and batch dependent bromide-rich composition with an I:Br ratio between 28:72 and 19:81. ICP-MS data were collected on a Thermo Scientific Element 1 ICP-MS instrument Elemental Scientific, Inc. PFA-100 low-flow nebulizer. 10-15 mg of sample was dissolved in 70% nitric acid and then diluted to approximately 5 ppm with a 1% nitric acid in deionized water solution. Titration data were collected by Galbraith Laboratories, Inc. ICP-MS analysis of two supernatants from two separate batches suggest that iodide is present at 2.7 and 4.1 wt %, with no bromide detected in either sample. This is consistent with the presence of the I—Br miscibility gap in this system below 70° C.
      ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ made by solution phase synthesis also shows a single set of XRD peaks indicating the presence of a single, crystalline phase ( FIG. 3A). However, ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ shows three 207Pb ssNMR peaks located at 160 ppm, −117 ppm, and −379 ppm in a ca. 1:2:1 ratio (Table 3 and FIG. 5). The most intense, center resonance at −117 ppm is halfway between pure bromide and chloride perovskites ( FIG. 10B); based on its chemical shift, and in agreement with optical and XRD data, we attribute it to crystalline CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5 (Table 3). The other two side resonances are nearly equidistant from the center resonance; based on their relative chemical shifts, they could be assigned as CH 3NH 3PbBr 2.25Cl 0.75 (160 ppm) and CH 3NH 3PbBr 0.75Cl 2.25 (−379 ppm) (Table 3 and FIG. 10B).
      These assignments correspond to individual lead coordination environments comprised of [PbBr 5Cl] 4− or [PbBr 4Cl 24− octahedra and [PbBrCl 54− or [PbBr 2Cl 44−octahedra, respectively; because the 207Pb ssNMR peaks are broad, it is difficult to definitely distinguish between each of these pairs of individual assignments. These nonstoichiometric bromide- and chloride-rich octahedra could be present either as amorphous, uncrystallized impurities or as dopant sites within the main CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5crystalline phase; because of their very similar peak intensities relative to each other (160 ppm, 21%; −379 ppm, 23%), yet significantly smaller than that of the main crystalline phase (−117 ppm, 56%), they likely exist as dopants (as depicted schematically in FIG. 11C). Such isolated Br- and Cl-rich sites would not only be difficult to resolve by XRD, but variations in the Pb—X bond lengths caused by lattice-enforced compression (for example, in [PbBr 5Cl] 4−) or elongation (for example, in [PbBrCl 54−) could also shift the 207Pb resonances farther upfield and downfield, respectively, from where they could be expected based on composition alone.
      A possible explanation for these observations is the presence of spinodal decomposition of the stoichiometric Br—Cl perovskite, a well-known phenomenon where the main crystalline phase coexists in equilibrium with a finite amount of nonstoichiometric domains.
      Finally, ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Cl 1.5’ displays two distinct, independent sets of XRD peaks along with two major 207Pb ssNMR peaks, the latter located at 1427 ppm and −647 ppm (FIGS. 3A and 5); these data are consistent with phase segregated, crystalline CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbCl 3, respectively, as expected from simple crystallographic considerations (Table 2 and FIG. 11D).
[TABLE-US-00003]

TABLE 3
207Pb ssNMR Data and Proposed Compositional
Assignments for Organolead Halide Perovskites
δiso Compositional Phase
Synthetic loading (ppm) Assignment(s) (%)
Solution phase synthesis
‘CH3NH3PbI3 1423 CH3NH3PbI3 C (100)
‘CH3NH3PbI1.5Br1.5’ 774 CH3NH3PbIBr2 C (26)
361 CH3NH3PbBr3 A or/s (74)
‘CH3NH3PbBr3 361 CH3NH3PbBr3 C (100)
‘CH3NH3PbBr1.5Cl1.5 160 CH3NH3PbBr2.25Cl0.75 D (21)
−117 CH3NH3PbBr1.5Cl1.5 C (56)
−379 CH3NH3PbBr0.75Cl2.25 D (23)
‘CH3NH3PbCl3 −648 CH3NH3PbCl3 C (100)
CH3NH3PbI1.5Cl1.5 1427 CH3NH3PbI3 C (n.d.)
−647 CH3NH3PbCl3 C (n.d.)
Thermal annealing
‘CH3NH3PbI1.5Br1.5 778 CH3NH3PbBr2 C (53)
343 CH3NH3PbBr3 A or/s (47)
‘CH3NH3PbBr1.5Cl1.5 166 CH3NH3PbBr2.25Cl0.75 D (24)
−109 CH3NH3PbBr1.5Cl1.5 C (55)
−375 CH3NH3PbBr0.75Cl2.25 D (21)
Solid phase synthesis
‘CH3NH3PbI1.5Br1.5 1126 CH3NH3PbI2.1Br0.9 D (30)
997 CH3NH3PbI1.8Br1.2 C (40)
872 CH3NH3PbI1.5Br1.5 D (30)
‘CH3NH3PbBr1.5Cl1.5 135 CH3NH3PbBr2.25Cl0.75 D (23)
−112 CH3NH3PbBr1.5Cl1.5 C (62)
−358 CH3NH3PbBr0.75Cl2.25 D(15)
      A possible explanation for the presence of dopants and amorphous phases in lead halide perovskites relates to their ability to crystallize under specific synthetic conditions. The materials initially mentioned above were synthesized at room temperature by precipitation from solution according to Equation 1, above. To probe this issue, freshly made mixed-halide perovskites were thermally annealed. In particular, mixed-halide perovskites prepared by solution phase synthesis were subjected to annealing between 50 and 250° C. in 50° C. increments for 1 hour each. As shown in FIGS. 12A-12E, and 13A-13E, neither ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ nor ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ shows a significant change in color or crystal structure between 20 and 200° C., above which both materials start showing signs of thermal decomposition (T dec onset ≥250° C.). In the case of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI1.5Br 1.5’, the individual powder XRD peaks become sharper upon annealing ( FIG. 12E), indicating an increase in single crystalline domain (Scherrer) size from 36±12 nm at 20° C. to 68±10 nm at 200° C.
      Critically, 207Pb ssNMR reveals that the composition of the different phases present in lead mixed-halide perovskites made by solution phase synthesis remains roughly the same after thermal annealing up to 200° C. The ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ sample retains two resonances at 778 and 343 ppm (Table 3 and FIG. 5), strongly indicating that both crystalline CH 3NH 3PbIBr and semicrystalline CH 3NH 3PbBr 3, respectively, survive and are still present after annealing (Table 3 and FIG. 10A). Increased iodide incorporation during the initial solution phase synthesis of the ‘CH 3NH 3Pb1.5Br1.5’ sample that was subjected to thermal annealing may explain the change in relative intensities between the 778 and 343 ppm peaks. This idea is supported by the variable iodide wt % values measured by ICP-MS for different supernatants. Likewise, the ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ sample retains three resonances at 166 ppm, −109 ppm, and −375 ppm with a 1:2:1 relative integration, which is almost identical to the sample before annealing ( FIG. 5 and FIG. 10B). These data strongly support the idea that the nonstoichiometric CH 3NH 3PbBr 2.25Cl 0.75 (166 ppm) and CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.75Cl 2.25 (−375 ppm) dopants likely form by spinodal decomposition and are persistent alongside the main stoichiometric phase CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5 (−109 ppm) after annealing.
      Having observed that semicrystalline, phase segregated phases and dopants can coexist and survive after thermal annealing, the question remained whether the persistence of such domains could be related to the ability of halide ions to diffuse from one solid phase to another. To probe this question, mixed-halide perovskites were synthesized by the presently disclosed solid state synthesis that involves mixing premade, solid, single-halide perovskites and subjecting them to heat as shown schematically in Equation 2, below, where X, X′=I, Br, Cl; 3>a>0. In particular, a stoichiometrically desired mixture of the parent, single-halide perovskites was subjected to heating between 50 and 200° C. with 50° C. increments for 1 hour each.

(NB)

      As shown in FIG. 14A, an equimolar (1:1) solid mixture of CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr changes color from brown-orange at 20° C. to black after heating to 200° C. The absorption edges of the two starting materials, initially present at 20° C. begin to move closer together and coalesce upon heating; a single absorption edge located roughly halfway between the two parent, single-halide perovskites is observed after heating to 200° C. ( FIGS. 14B and 15A). Similarly, the two initial sets of XRD peaks corresponding to the two parent, single-halide perovskites move closer together and coalesce into a single set of XRD peaks after heating from 20 to 200° C. ( FIGS. 14C and 15A). Together, these data are consistent with the formation of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ in the solid state.
      A closer examination of XRD data during the solid phase synthesis of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ reveals that heating from 20 to 150° C. causes an initial decrease in the average single crystalline domain (Scherrer) sizes of the iodide-rich phase from 96±19 nm to 29±9 nm and of the bromide-rich phase from 110±13 nm to 32±10 nm ( FIG. 15B, solid and open circles, respectively). At this point, there is an inflection point after the two sets of peaks merge; further heating from 150 to 200° C. causes a slight increase in Scherrer size of the mixed-halide phase to 52±9 nm ( FIG. 15B). These two distinct particle size regimes can be attributed to interfacial nucleation (via halide diffusion/exchange) and growth (via coalescence) of the new mixed-halide phase.
      A very similar behavior is observed by optical spectroscopy and powder XRD during the solid state synthesis of ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ starting from an equimolar mixture of CH 3NH 3PbBr and CH 3NH 3PbCl solid. In this case, the inflection point between decreasing (nucleation) and increasing (growth) single average crystalline domain sizes is slightly lower than in the previous case, at ca. 100-150° C. In both cases, simultaneous differential thermal-thermogravimetric analyses (DTA-TGA) showed that these solid phase reactions are accompanied by broad or “shallow” endothermic transitions with no measurable mass loss. DTA-TGA measurements were collected using a TA Instruments SDT 2960. After purging with N gas, 15 mg per sample was subjected to two heating-cooling cycles at 20° C./min up to 200° C., followed by cooling to 60° C. with a fan. A comparison of XRD and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) data showed that the mixed-halide perovskites produced in this way consist of heavily twinned particles of comparable size and morphology to those of the parent, single-halide perovskites ( FIGS. 4A-4E).
      Critically, the 207Pb ssNMR spectrum of ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ prepared by solid phase synthesis shows not two, but one single broad resonance at 997 ppm (Table 3 andFIG. 5). Interestingly, this peak is significantly broader (fwhm=410 ppm) than those of the parent CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr perovskites (fwhm=253 and 150 ppm, respectively) (see FIG. 5); this suggests that this peak is made of multiple overlapping resonances likely corresponding to a range of different local lead environments within a single phase. These sites are likely nonstoichiometric I- and Br-rich dopants similar to those found in ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ as discussed above. Deconvolution of the broad resonance at 997 ppm into three peaks suggests that the ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’ sample produced by solid phase synthesis is actually composed of CH 3NH 3PbI 2.1Br 0.9 (1126 ppm, 30%), CH 3NH 3PbI 1.8Br 1.2 (997 ppm, 40%), and CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5 (872 ppm, 30%) (Table 3 and FIG. 5). Experimental uncertainties associated with weighing equimolar amounts of starting materials may account for the CH 3NH 3Pb 1.8Br 1.2 crystalline product being slightly off the 1:1 halide ratio expected from loading alone.
      Thus, in contrast to solution phase synthesis, no semicrystalline CH 3NH 3PbBr is observed in ‘CH 3NH 3Pb 1.5Br 1.5’ made by solid phase synthesis. This suggests that the specific synthetic procedure has a large impact on the composition and purity of the resulting mixed iodo-bromide lead perovskites. In contrast to solution phase synthesis, which is carried out at 20° C., our solid phase synthesis is carried out at 200° C., well above the maximum point of the miscibility dome proposed in the recently calculated I—Br phase diagram. In addition, our solid phase synthesis requires no solvent(s) so that no single precursor or major component is lost during sample isolation and purification.
      In contrast to ‘CH 3NH 3PbI 1.5Br 1.5’, the 207Pb ssNMR spectrum of ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ prepared by solid phase synthesis still shows three 207Pb ssNMR peaks that are very similar to those observed when the sample is prepared by either solution phase synthesis or thermal annealing methods ( FIG. 5). Based on the specific chemical shifts, we assign these resonances as CH 3NH 3PbBr 2.25Cl 0.75 (135 ppm, 23%), CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5 (−112 ppm, 62%), and CH 3NH 3PbBr 0.75Cl 2.25 (−358 ppm, 15%) (Table 3). Because three similar resonances are present in the 207Pb ssNMR spectra of all the ‘CH 3NH 3PbBr 1.5Cl 1.5’ samples studied, in can be concluded that the nonstoichiometric dopants form spontaneously as a result of spinodal decomposition ( FIG. 11C). These dopant sites or impurities are always naturally present and are persistent regardless of which specific synthetic method is used.
      In summary, a combination of optical absorption spectroscopy, powder XRD, and, 207Pb ssNMR spectroscopy were used to investigate phase segregation and alloying in lead mixed-halide perovskites. While crystallography alone accounts for phase segregation between CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbCl 3, it does not explain the true microstructure and extent of alloying between CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr 3, or between CH 3NH 3PbBr and CH 3NH 3PbCl 3.
      Compositional assignment of multiple resonances observed in the 207Pb ssNMR spectra of mixed-halide perovskites unveiled the presence of nonstoichiometric impurities or “dopants”, as well as of semicrystalline (amorphous or nanostructured core/shell) phases, which accompany the main stoichiometric crystalline phase. While dopants are prevalent and persistent regardless of the synthesis method, semicrystalline phases can form when samples are made by room temperature solution phase synthesis or their thermal annealing. However, semicrystalline phases do not form when lead, mixed-halide perovskite compounds are synthesized using high temperature solid phase synthesis.
      The thermal annealing experiments showed that the presence of dopants and semicrystalline phases is not related to the ability of lead mixed-halide perovskites to crystallize under specific synthetic conditions. Further, solid phase synthesis experiments showed that ion diffusion is not a barrier to alloying in lead halide perovskites. The formation of nonstoichiometric dopants is consistent with partial phase segregation caused by spinodal decomposition, which results in small composition fluctuations throughout the entire lattice that differ from the desired stoichiometric phase. In other words, these materials are composed of a main stoichiometric, alloyed phase that exists in equilibrium with two nonstoichiometric, halide-rich phases at room temperature.
      Combined with other more commonly used optical absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction methods, 207Pb ssNMR offers unique opportunities to understand how various synthetic procedures affect the true composition, speciation, stability (against moisture, heat, light), and optoelectronic properties of these materials. Further enhancements in the efficiency and performance of perovskite-based photovoltaics and other energy conversion devices may thus be achieved through careful synthetic manipulation of such impurity phases and nanodomains.
      Specifically, CH 3NH 3PbI and CH 3NH 3PbBr precursor solutions were made by dissolving PbI (155 mg) and CH 3NH 3I (53.4 mg) in γ-butyrolactone (3 mL) or by dissolving PbBr (200 mg) and CH 3NH 3Br (61 mg) in N,N-dimethylformamide (2 mL), respectively. Each single halide perovskite was precipitated as a powder by diluting each precursor solution to 50 mL with toluene. Approximately 100 mg of each perovskite was added to a separate 6 mL scintillation vial with 0.15 mL toluene followed by stirring to form a thick paste. Four to five drops of each perovskite paste was added to separate pieces of Kapton polyimide tape of 19 mm (0.75″) width from a Pasteur pipette to form a sample spot size of 7 mm×7 mm (0.25″ x 0.25″) as shown in FIGS. 16A and 16B, which depict CH 3NH 3PbI powder and CH 3NH 3PbBr powder, respectively. Both pieces of Kapton tape were then pressed together to form a bilayer perovskite film consisting of a CH 3NH 3PbI and a CH 3NH 3PbBr layer on top of each other ( FIGS. 16C and 16D). Kapton tape was used due to its reported temperature stability up to 260° C. and also because it mimics a transparent flexible substrate for thin film devices; in addition, Kapton tape is impermeable to gases.
      The bilayer perovskite film sealed in Kapton tape was annealed at 75° C., 100° C., and 150° C. for 45 min each and at 200° C. for 3 days to ensure complete halide diffusion.FIGS. 16E and 16F depict each side of the bilayer film after 19 hours. FIGS. 16G and 16H depict each side of the bilayer perovskite film after 2 days, and FIGS. 161 and 16Jdepict each side of the bilayer perovskite film after 3 days. As can be seen from FIGS. 16E-16J, the coloring of the layers transitions from distinct colors for the iodide perovskite powder layer and the bromide perovskite powder layer to a single color for both sides of the layer, denoting a completed reaction.
      The reaction was monitored after annealing at 200° C. for different periods of time by collecting diffuse reflectance spectra for each side of the bilayer film. Diffuse reflectance spectra of solid films were measured with a SL1 Tungsten Halogen lamp (vis-IR), a SL3 Deuterium Lamp (UV), and a BLACK-Comet C-SR-100 spectrometer. FIG. 17 depicts the converging absorbance spectra for the single halide perovskite powders and the mixed halide powders. As can be seen in FIG. 17, the dot-dot-dash line and the heavy-weight dashed lines represent the outer bounds of the single halide perovskite precursors. The medium-weight solid line and the close-dashed line represent annealing after 2 days, and the converged heavy-weight solid line and spaced-dashed line represent the fully-reacted mixed-halide perovskite after annealing for 3 days. Once the absorption edges for both sides of the bilayer film merged together, the formation of the hybrid (mixed-halide) perovskite film was complete and confirmed by X-ray diffraction as shown in FIGS. 18A and 18B. In FIG. 18A, the Kapton tape produced a large, amorphous XRD peak from ˜10-29°; in FIG. 18B, the Kapton peak has been removed.
       FIGS. 19A and 19B provide schematic depicts of an exemplary embodiment for the disclosed hybrid lead halide perovskites. In particular, FIG. 19A is a schematic representation of a solar panel 100 including a plurality of photovoltaic cells 200. The solar panel 100 is configured to convert light from the sun into electricity using the photovoltaic cells 200FIG. 19B depicts a schematic representation of the layers of a photovoltaic cell 200. The photovoltaic cell 200 generally includes a transparent cover 210that allows most of the sunlight that is usable by the photovoltaic cell 200 to pass therethrough, while protecting the photovoltaic cell from the weather. Additionally, the transparent cover 210 can include an antireflective coating (not shown) to prevent reflection of the sunlight from the photovoltaic cell 200. A backing layer 220 is located on the opposite side of the transparent cover 210 of the photovoltaic cell 200. Beneath the transparent cover 210 and above the backing layer 220 are a first contact strip 230 and a second contact strip 240, respectively. The first and second contact strips 230240 collect the current produced by the photovoltaic cell 200 such that it can be used to power a load 250. The current is generated in the photovoltaic cell 200 by an n-type semiconductor layer 260 and a p-type semiconductor layer 270 that are separated by a junction layer 280.
      The hybrid lead perovskites (e.g., having the formulae CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ a, HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, APbX 3-aX′ a, and A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ in which X, X′=I, Br, Cl; A is an alkali earth metal, such as Rb or Cs; and A′ is and organic cation, such as CH 3NH or HC(NH 22) made according to the disclosed methods are preferably used in the junction layer 280 of the photovoltaic cell 200.
      All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.
      The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) is to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.
      Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.

Claims

1. A method of synthesizing a mixed-halide perovskite, comprising the steps of:

mixing a first single-halide perovskite and a second single-halide perovskite to form a solid-phase mixture, wherein the first single-halide perovskite and the second single-halide perovskite are both in the solid phase during mixing; and
heating the solid phase mixture at a temperature below a first decomposition of the first single-halide perovskite and below a second decomposition temperature of the second single-halide perovskite for a time sufficient to form the mixed-halide perovskite.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the heating step comprises forming a mixed-halide perovskite with a formula of CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the heating step comprises heating the solid phase mixture to a temperature of approximately 200° C.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the heating step comprises heating the solid phase mixture for between 0.5 and 1 hour.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the heating step comprises forming a mixed-halide perovskite with a formula of HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the heating step comprises forming a mixed-halide perovskite with a formula of APbX 3-aX′ a, wherein A is an alkali metal, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the step of forming a mixed-halide perovskite includes selecting A to be Rb or Cs.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the heating step comprises forming a mixed-halide perovskite with a formula of A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ a, wherein A is an alkali metal and A′ is an organic cation, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the step of forming a mixed-halide perovskite with a formula of A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ comprises selecting A to be Rb or Cs and A′ to be CH 3NH or HC(NH 22.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the heating step comprises forming the mixed-halide perovskite free of any semicrystalline phases.

11. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of annealing the mixed-halide perovskite at a temperature of approximately 200° C. for between 1 hour and 72 hours.

12. A mixed-halide perovskite made according to the method of claim 1, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite is free of amorphous and/or semicrystalline phases.

13. The mixed-halide perovskite of claim 12, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

14. The mixed-halide perovskite of claim 12, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

15. The mixed-halide perovskite of claim 12, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula APbX 3-aX′ a, wherein A is an alkali metal, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

16. The mixed-halide perovskite of claim 15, wherein A is Rb or Cs.

17. The mixed-halide perovskite of claim 12, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ a, wherein A is an alkali metal and A′ is an organic cation, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

18. The mixed-halide perovskite of claim 17, wherein A is Rb or Cs and A′ is CH 3NH or HC(NH 22.

19. A photovoltaic cell capable of powering an electrical load, the photovoltaic cell comprising:

a transparent cover;
an n-type semiconductor;
a first electrical contact strip, the first electrical contact strip being disposed between the transparent cover and the n-type semiconductor and being in electrical communication with the n-type semiconductor;
a p-type semiconductor;
a junction layer disposed between the n-type semiconductor and the p-type semiconductor; and
a second electrical contact strip, the second contact strip being in electrical communication with the p-type semiconductor,
wherein the junction layer is comprised of a mixed-halide perovskite that is free of amorphous and semicrystalline phases.

20. The photovoltaic cell of claim 19, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula CH 3NH 3PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

21. The photovoltaic cell of claim 19, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula HC(NH 22PbX 3-aX′ a, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

22. The photovoltaic cell of claim 19, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula APbX 3-aX′ a, wherein A is an alkali metal, wherein X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

23. The photovoltaic cell of claim 22, wherein A is Rb or Cs.

24. The photovoltaic cell of claim 19, wherein the mixed-halide perovskite has the formula A 1-bA′ bPbX 3-aX′ a, wherein A is Rb or Cs, A′ is CH 3NHor HC(NH 22, and X and X′ are selected from the group consisting of I, Br, and Cl, and wherein 0>a>3.

25. The photovoltaic cell of claim 24, wherein A is Rb or Cs and A′ is CH 3NH or HC(NH 22.

26. A solar panel comprised of one or more photovoltaic cells according to claim 19.
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