Do Grain Boundaries Dominate Non-Radiative Recombination in CH3NH3PbI3 Perovskite Thin Films?

Kai Zhu, Mengjin Yang, Yining Zeng, Chun Sheng Jiang, Jao Van De Lagemaat, Zhen Li, Donghoe Kim

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160 Scopus Citations


Here, we examine grain boundaries (GBs) with respect to non-GB regions (grain surfaces (GSs) and grain interiors (GIs)) in high-quality micrometer-sized perovskite CH3NH3PbI3 (or MAPbI3) thin films using high-resolution confocal fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy in conjunction with kinetic modeling of charge-transport and recombination processes. We show that, contrary to previous studies, GBs in our perovskite MAPbI3 thin films do not lead to increased recombination but that recombination in these films happens primarily in the non-GB regions (i.e., GSs or GIs). We also find that GBs in these films are not transparent to photogenerated carriers, which is likely associated with a potential barrier at GBs. Even though GBs generally display lower luminescence intensities than GSs/GIs, the lifetimes at GBs are no worse than those at GSs/GIs, further suggesting that GBs do not dominate non-radiative recombination in MAPbI3 thin films.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5043-5050
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the Owner Societies 2017.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-66143


  • grain boundaries
  • grain interiors
  • grain surfaces
  • perovskite thin films
  • solar-photochemistry


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