Stabilizing Perovskite Structures by Tuning Tolerance Factor: Formation of Formamidinium and Cesium Lead Iodide Solid-State Alloys

Kai Zhu, Mengjin Yang, Suhuai Wei, Joseph Berry, Ji-Sang Park, Zhen Li

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1647 Scopus Citations


Goldschmidt tolerance factor (t) is an empirical index for predicting stable crystal structures of perovskite materials. A t value between 0.8 and 1.0 is favorable for cubic perovskite structure, and larger (>1) or smaller (<0.8) values of tolerance factor usually result in nonperovskite structures. CH(NH2)2PbI3 (FAPbI3) can exist in the perovskite α-phase (black phase) with good photovoltaic properties. However, it has a large tolerance factor and is more stable in the hexagonal δH-phase (yellow phase), with δH-to-α phase-transition temperature higher than room temperature. On the other hand, CsPbI3 is stabilized to an orthorhombic structure (δO-phase) at room temperature due to its small tolerance factor. We find that, by alloying FAPbI3 with CsPbI3, the effective tolerance factor can be tuned, and the stability of the photoactive α-phase of the mixed solid-state perovskite alloys FA1-xCsxPbI3 is enhanced, which is in agreement with our first-principles calculations. Thin films of the FA0.85Cs0.15PbI3 perovskite alloy demonstrate much improved stability in a high-humidity environment; this contrasts significantly with the pure FAPbI3 film for which the α-to-δH phase transition (associated with yellowing appearance) is accelerated by humidity environment. Due to phase stabilization, the FA0.85Cs0.15PbI3 solid-state alloy showed better solar cell performance and device stability than its FAPbI3 counterparts. Our studies suggest that tuning the tolerance factor through solid-state alloying can be a general strategy to stabilize the desired perovskite structure for solar cell applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-65322


  • perovskite
  • solid-state alloying
  • tolerance factor


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