Significance of hydrogen bonding and other noncovalent interactions in determining octahedral tilting in the CH3NH3PbI3 hybrid organic-inorganic halide perovskite solar cell semiconductor

Pradeep R. Varadwaj, Arpita Varadwaj, Helder M. Marques, Koichi Yamashita
2019 Scientific Reports  
The CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3 (methylammonium lead triiodide) perovskite semiconductor system has been viewed as a blockbuster research material during the last five years. Because of its complicated architecture, several of its technological, physical and geometrical issues have been examined many times. Yet this has not assisted in overcoming a number of problems in the field nor in enabling the material to be marketed. For instance, these studies have not clarified the nature and type of hydrogen
more » ... pe of hydrogen bonding and other noncovalent interactions involved; the origin of hysteresis; the actual role of the methylammonium cation; the nature of polarity associated with the tetragonal geometry; the unusual origin of various frontier orbital contributions to the conduction band minimum; the underlying phenomena of spin-orbit coupling that causes significant bandgap reduction; and the nature of direct-to-indirect bandgap transition features. Arising from many recent reports, it is now a common belief that the I···H-N interaction formed between the inorganic framework and the ammonium group of CH 3 NH 3 + is the only hydrogen bonded interaction responsible for all temperaturedependent geometrical polymorphs of the system, including the most stable one that persists at lowtemperatures, and the significance of all other noncovalent interactions has been overlooked. This study focussed only on the low temperature orthorhombic polymorph of CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3 and CD 3 ND 3 PbI 3 , where D refers deuterium. Together with QTAIM, DORI and RDG based charge density analyses, the results of density functional theory calculations with PBE with and without van der Waals corrections demonstrate that the prevailing view of hydrogen bonding in CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3 is misleading as it does not alone determine the a − b + a − tilting pattern of the PbI 6 4− octahedra. This study suggests that it is not only the I···H/D-N, but also the I···H/D-C hydrogen/deuterium bonding and other noncovalent interactions (viz. tetrel-, pnictogen-and lump-hole bonding interactions) that are ubiquitous in the orthorhombic CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3 /CD 3 ND 3 PbI 3 perovskite geometry. Their interplay determines the overall geometry of the polymorph, and are therefore responsible in part for the emergence of the functional optical properties of this material. This study also suggests that these interactions should not be regarded as the sole determinants of octahedral tilting since lattice dynamics is known to play a critical role as well, a common feature in many inorganic perovskites both in the presence and the absence of the encaged cation, as in CsPbI 3 /WO 3 perovskites, for example. Published: xx xx xxxx OPEN www.nature.com/scientificreports/
doi:10.1038/s41598-018-36218-1 fatcat:rwpvub5uj5hmdobkfzofyekgue