Crystal reorientation in methylammonium lead iodide perovskite thin film with thermal annealing

Shalinee Kavadiya, Joseph Strzalka, Dariusz M. Niedzwiedzki, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


While there has been rapid progress in the performance of perovskite solar cells, the details of film formation, effect of processing parameters and perovskite crystal structure are still under discussion. The details of the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the tetragonal phase of CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite existing at room temperature are often overlooked, with unresolved (002) (at 2θ = 13.99° for CuKα and q = 0.9927 Å-1) and (110) (at 2θ = 14.14° and q = 1.003 Å-1) peaks considered to be one peak at 14°, leading to an inaccurate estimation of lattice parameters. In this study, we use an electrospray deposition technique to prepare perovskite films at room temperature, oriented in (002) and (110) directions, with (002) as the preferred orientation. The results of a detailed study on the emergence of the two orientations during perovskite formation are reported. The effect of process parameters, such as substrate temperature during deposition and annealing temperature, on the grain orientation was established using XRD and grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS). The study suggests that an irreversible crystal reorientation from (002) to (110) occurs at high temperature during rapid annealing, whereas a reversible crystal thermal expansion is seen during slow annealing. Finally, the results of the grain reorientation are correlated with the film properties, and it is shown that the film with the dominant (110) orientation has improved morphology and optoelectronic properties. The detailed structural investigation and characterization presented in this study are important for the precise determination of crystal orientation and achievement of desirable photovoltaic properties of the absorber material by carefully observing the adjacent crystal plane peaks in the XRD pattern of the perovskite thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12790-12799
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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