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Synthesis of Cesium Lead Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals in a Droplet-Based Microfluidic Platform: Fast Parametric Space Mapping

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2016, 00:00 by Ioannis Lignos, Stavros Stavrakis, Georgian Nedelcu, Loredana Protesescu, Andrew J. deMello, Maksym V. Kovalenko
Prior to this work, fully inorganic nanocrystals of cesium lead halide perovskite (CsPbX3, X = Br, I, Cl and Cl/Br and Br/I mixed halide systems), exhibiting bright and tunable photoluminescence, have been synthesized using conventional batch (flask-based) reactions. Unfortunately, our understanding of the parameters governing the formation of these nanocrystals is still very limited due to extremely fast reaction kinetics and multiple variables involved in ion-metathesis-based synthesis of such multinary halide systems. Herein, we report the use of a droplet-based microfluidic platform for the synthesis of CsPbX3 nanocrystals. The combination of online photoluminescence and absorption measurements and the fast mixing of reagents within such a platform allows the rigorous and rapid mapping of the reaction parameters, including molar ratios of Cs, Pb, and halide precursors, reaction temperatures, and reaction times. This translates into enormous savings in reagent usage and screening times when compared to analogous batch synthetic approaches. The early-stage insight into the mechanism of nucleation of metal halide nanocrystals suggests similarities with multinary metal chalcogenide systems, albeit with much faster reaction kinetics in the case of halides. Furthermore, we show that microfluidics-optimized synthesis parameters are also directly transferrable to the conventional flask-based reaction.