Fast self-diffusion of ions in CH3NH3PbI3: the interstiticaly mechanism versus vacancy-assisted mechanism†
The stability of organic–inorganic halide perovskites is a major challenge for their applications and has been extensively studied. Among the possible underlying reasons, ion self-diffusion has been inferred to play important roles. While theoretical studies congruously support that iodine is more mobile, experimental studies only observe the direct diffusion of the MA ion and possible diffusion of iodine. The discrepancy may result from the incomplete understanding of ion diffusion mechanisms. With the help of first-principles calculations, we studied ion diffusion in CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3) through not only the vacancy-assisted mechanisms presumed in previous theoretical studies, but also the neglected interstiticaly mechanisms. We found that compared to the diffusion through the vacancy-assisted mechanism, MA ion diffusion through the interstiticaly mechanism has a much smaller barrier which could explain experimental observations. For iodine diffusion, both mechanisms can yield relatively small barriers. Depending on the growth conditions, defect densities of vacancies and interstitials can vary and so do the diffusion species as well as diffusion mechanisms. Our work thus supports that both MA and iodine ion diffusion could contribute to the performance instability of MAPbI3. While being congruous with experimental results, our work fills the research gap by providing a full understanding of ion diffusion in halide perovskites.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2016 Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers