Chiral organic–inorganic lead halide perovskites based on α-alanine†
Chiral hybrid organic–inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) attract attention due to their potential for application in optoelectronic, spintronic and photovoltaic devices. However, to this day the range of available chiral HOIPs is still scarce. In this context, we synthesized and thoroughly characterized two pairs of enantiomeric HOIPs incorporating enantiopure α-alanine, the simplest chiral amino acid: (AlaH)PbX3 (Ala = R-alanine or S-alanine, X = Br or I). Single-crystal XRD measurements revealed an unusual 2D anionic motif, which consists of haloplumbate octahedra bonded together in an edge-sharing manner along the c axis and in a corner-sharing manner along the b axis. Four compounds undergo melting/crystallization at unusually low temperatures. New compounds also display photoluminescence in the visible range: 380–640 nm (X = Br) and 480–640 nm (X = I). Electronic spectroscopy reveals an optical response typical for semiconductive materials with optical band gaps of 3.12 eV (X = Br) and 2.48 eV (X = I). These results show that the incorporation of simple and easily accessible α-alanine (and other chiral amino acids) as a cationic part is an efficient way for obtaining highly demanding chiral HOIPs.