PbI2 nanocrystal growth by atomic layer deposition of Pb(tmhd)2 and HI


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) allows for a great level of control over the thickness and stoichiometry of materials. ALD provides a suitable route to deposit lead halides, which can further be converted to perovskite for photovoltaics, photoemission, and photodetection, among other applications. Deposition of lead halides by ALD has already begun to be explored; however, the precursors used in published processes are highly hazardous, require expensive fabrication processes, or contain impurities that can jeopardize the optoelectronic properties of metal halide perovskites after conversion. We sought to deposit lead iodide (PbI2) by a facile ALD process involving only two readily accessible, low-cost precursors and without involving any unwanted impurities that could act as recombination centers once the PbI2 is later converted to perovskite. Crystalline PbI2 nanocrystals were grown on soda-lime glass (SLG), silicon dioxide support grids, and silicon wafer substrates and provide the groundwork for further investigation into developing lead halide perovskite processes by ALD. The ALD-grown PbI2 was characterized by annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (ADF-STEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), among other methods. This work presents the first step to synthesize lead halide perovskites with atomic control for applications such as interfacial layers in photovoltaics and for deposition in microcavities for lasing.