Formation of Corrugated 2D Tin Iodide Perovskites and Their Use as Lead-Free Solar Absorbers

02 September 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Major strides have been made in the development of materials and devices based around low-dimensional hybrid group 14 metal halide perovskites. Thus far, this work has mostly focused upon compounds containing highly toxic Pb, with the analogous less toxic Sn materials being comparatively poorly evolved. In response, the study herein aims to (i) provide insight into the impact of templating cation upon the structure of 2D tin iodide perovskites, and (ii) examine their potential as light absorbers for photovoltaic (PV) cells. It was discovered through systematic tuning of organic dications, that imidazolium rings are able to induce formation of (110)-oriented materials, including the first examples of “3 × 3” corrugated Sn-I perovskites. This structural outcome is a consequence of a combination of supramolecular interactions of the two endocyclic N-atoms in the imidazolium functionalities with the Sn-I framework and the higher tendency of Sn2+ ions to stereochemically express their 5s2 lone pairs relative to the 6s2 electrons of Pb2+. More importantly, the resulting materials feature very short separations between their 2D inorganic layers with iodide–iodide (I···I) contacts as small as 4.174 Å, which is amongst the shortest ever recorded for 2D tin iodide perovskites. The proximate inorganic distances, combined with the polarizable nature of the imidazolium moiety, eases the separation of photogenerated charge within the materials. This is evident from the excitonic activation energies as low as 83(10) meV, measured for ImEA[SnI4]. When combined with superior light absorption capabilities relative to their lead congeners, this allowed fabrication of lead-free solar cells with incident photon-to-current and power conversion efficiencies of up to 70 % and 2.26 %, respectively, which are amongst the highest values reported for pure 2D group 14 metal halide perovskites. In fact, these values are superior to the corresponding lead iodide material, which demonstrates that 2D Sn-based materials have significant potential as less toxic alternatives to their Pb counterparts.


Tin Iodide Perovskites
2D Materials
hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite
photovoltaic device performance
Structural Analyses

Supplementary materials

corrugated 2D Sn-I perovskites - supporting information


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