Structural Evolution of Layered Hybrid Lead Iodide Perovskites in Colloidal Dispersions

TitleStructural Evolution of Layered Hybrid Lead Iodide Perovskites in Colloidal Dispersions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDahlman, Clayton J., Naveen R. Venkatesan, Patrick T. Corona, Rhys M. Kennard, Lingling Mao, Noah C. Smith, Jiamin Zhang, Ram Seshadri, Matthew E. Helgeson, and Michael L. Chabinyc
JournalACS Nano
Date Published08/2020

Controlling the structure of layered hybrid metal halide perovskites, such as the Ruddlesden–Popper (R-P) phases, is challenging because of their tendency to form mixtures of varying composition. Colloidal growth techniques, such as antisolvent precipitation, form dispersions with properties that match bulk layered R-P phases, but controlling the composition of these particles remains challenging. Here, we explore the microstructure of particles of R-P phases of methylammonium lead iodide prepared by antisolvent precipitation from ternary mixtures of alkylammonium cations, where one cation can form perovskite phases (CH3NH3+) and the other two promote layered structures as spacers (e.g., C4H9NH3+ and C12H25NH3+). We determine that alkylammonium spacers pack with constant methylene density in the R-P interlayer and exclude interlayer solvent in dispersed colloids, regardless of length or branching. Using this result, we illustrate how the competition between cations that act as spacers between layers, or as grain-terminating ligands, determines the colloidal microstructure of layered R-P crystallites in solution. Optical measurements reveal that quantum well dimensions can be tuned by engineering the ternary cation composition. Transmission synchrotron wide-angle X-ray scattering and small-angle neutron scattering reveal changes in the structure of colloids in solvent and after deposition into thin films. In particular, we find that spacers can alloy between R-P layers if they share common steric arrangements, but tend to segregate into polydisperse R-P phases if they do not mix. This study provides a framework to compare the microstructure of colloidal layered perovskites and suggests clear avenues to control phase and colloidal morphology.