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Super-Resolution Luminescence Microspectroscopy Reveals the Mechanism of Photoinduced Degradation in CH3NH3PbI3 Perovskite Nanocrystals

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posted on 22.04.2016, 00:00 by Aboma Merdasa, Monojit Bag, Yuxi Tian, Elin Källman, Alexander Dobrovolsky, Ivan G. Scheblykin
Photoinduced degradation of individual methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite nanocrystals was studied using super-resolution luminescence microspectroscopy under intense light excitation. The photoluminescence (PL) intensity decrease and blue-shift of the PL spectrum up to 60 nm together with spatial shifts in the emission localization position up to a few hundred nanometers were visualized in real time. PL blinking was found to temporarily suspend the degradation process, indicating that the degradation needs a high concentration of mobile photogenerated charges to occur. We propose that the mechanistic process of degradation occurs as the three-dimensional MAPbI3 crystal structure smoothly collapses to the two-dimensional layered PbI2 structure. The degradation starts locally and then spreads over the whole crystal. The structural collapse is primarily due to migration of methylammonium ions (MA+), which distorts the lattice structure causing alterations to the Pb–I–Pb bond angle and in turn changes the effective band gap.