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Decoding Van der Waals Impact on Chirality Transfer in Perovskite Structures: Density Functional Theory Insights

Posted on 2024-02-13 - 07:13
Chiral organic–inorganic perovskites exhibit unique physicochemical properties driven by the symmetry of monovalent organic cations. However, an atomistic understanding of how chiral cations transfer their chirality to the inorganic framework and the role played by van der Waals (vdW) interactions in this process is still incomplete. In this work, we report a theoretical investigation, based on density functional theory calculations within the Perdew–Burke–Ernzerhof (PBE) formulation for the exchange–correlation functional, into the role of the vdW interactions in the chirality transfer process. For that, we selected several vdW corrections, namely, Grimme (D2, D3, D3­(BJ)), Tkatchenko–Scheffler (TS, TS+SCS, TS+HSI), density-dependent energy correction (dDsC), and many-body scattering (MBD) energy method correction. For the chiral perovskite systems, we selected a set of chiral organic–inorganic perovskites with several dimensions, namely, from zero-dimensional to three-dimensional, each having enantiomers with R and S configurations. Based on a statistical treatment of the relative errors of all lattice parameters with respect to experimental data, we found that D3, D3­(BJ), TS, TS+SCS, TS+HSI, and MBD vdW are the most accurate corrections to describe the equilibrium structural properties of chiral perovskites using the PBE method. We identify chirality-induced sequential asymmetries of distorted octahedrons and propose angular descriptors to quantify them, where the orientations of these distortions depend on the R or S nature of the chiral cations. Furthermore, we demonstrate the importance of accurate vdW interactions in precisely describing these asymmetric distortions. By means of binding energies and charge-transfer analysis, we show that the impact of vdW corrections on the charge distribution leads to a subtle strengthening of hydrogen bonds between chiral cations and inorganic octahedra, resulting in an increase in the binding energy. Finally, we identified that the Rashba–Dresselhaus effect in two-dimensionality is refined by vdW interactions.

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