"Bulk and Nanocrystalline Cesium Lead-Halide Perovskites as Seen by Halide Magnetic Resonance"

Laura Piveteau : Marcel Aebli, Nuri Yazdani, Marthe Millen, Lukas Korosec, Franziska Krieg, Bogdan M. Benin, Viktoriia Morad, Christophe Piveteau, Toni Shiroka, Aleix Comas-Vives, Christophe Coperet, Aaron M. Lindenberg, Vanessa Wood, René Verel, and Maksym V. Kovalenko; ACS Central Science, 06/23/20.

Additional Authors: Marcel Aebli, Nuri Yazdani, Marthe Millen, Lukas Korosec, Franziska Krieg, Bogdan M. Benin, Viktoriia Morad, Christophe Piveteau, Toni Shiroka, Aleix Comas-Vives, Christophe Coperet, Aaron M. Lindenberg, Vanessa Wood, René Verel, and Maksym V. Kovalenko

Abstract:

Lead-halide perovskites increasingly mesmerize researchers because they exhibit a high degree of structural defects and dynamics yet nonetheless offer an outstanding (opto)electronic performance on par with the best examples of structurally stable and defect-free semiconductors. This highly unusual feature necessitates the adoption of an experimental and theoretical mindset and the reexamination of techniques that may be uniquely suited to understand these materials. Surprisingly, the suite of methods for the structural characterization of these materials does not commonly include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The present study showcases both the utility and versatility of halide NMR and NQR (nuclear quadrupole resonance) for probing the structure and structural dynamics of CsPbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I), in both bulk and nanocrystalline forms. The strong quadrupole couplings, which originate from the interaction between the large quadrupole moments of, e.g., the 35Cl, 79Br, and 127I nuclei, and the local electric-field gradients, are highly sensitive to subtle structural variations, both static and dynamic. The quadrupole interaction can resolve structural changes with accuracies commensurate with synchrotron X-ray diffraction and scattering. It is shown that space-averaged site-disorder is greatly enhanced in the nanocrystals compared to the bulk, while the dynamics of nuclear spin relaxation indicates enhanced structural dynamics in the nanocrystals. The findings from NMR and NQR were corroborated by ab initio molecular dynamics, which point to the role of the surface in causing the radial strain distribution and disorder. These findings showcase a great synergy between solid-state NMR or NQR and molecular dynamics simulations in shedding light on the structure of soft lead-halide semiconductors.