Defect Tolerance in Methylammonium Lead Triiodide Perovskite

K. Xerxes Steirer, Philip Schulz, Glenn Teeter, Vladan Stevanovic, Mengjin Yang, Kai Zhu, Joseph J. Berry

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Photovoltaic applications of perovskite semiconductor material systems have generated considerable interest in part because of predictions that primary defect energy levels reside outside the bandgap. We present experimental evidence that this enabling material property is present in the halide-lead perovskite, CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3), consistent with theoretical predictions. By performing X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, we induce and track dynamic chemical and electronic transformations in the perovskite. These data show compositional changes that begin immediately with exposure to X-ray irradiation, whereas the predominant electronic structure of the thin film on compact TiO2 appears tolerant to the formation of compensating defect pairs of VI and VMA and for a large range of I/Pb ratios. Changing film composition is correlated with a shift of the valence-band maximum only as the halide-lead ratio drops below 2.5. This delay is attributed to the invariance of MAPbI3 electronic structure to distributed defects that can significantly transform the electronic density of states only when in high concentrations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 12 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-65846


  • defect tolerance
  • perovskite
  • photovoltaic
  • point defects
  • x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • XPS


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