Owing to its ideal semiconducting band gap and good carrier-transport properties, the fully inorganic perovskite CsSnI3 has been proposed as a visible-light absorber for photovoltaic (PV) applications. However, compared to the organic-inorganic lead halide perovskite CH3NH3PbI3, CsSnI3 solar cells display very low energy conversion efficiency. In this work, we propose a potential route to improve the PV properties of CsSnI3. Using first-principles calculations, we examine the crystal structures and electronic properties of CsSnI3, including its structural polymorphs. Next, we purposefully order Cs and Rb cations on the A site to create the double perovskite (CsRb)Sn2I6. We find that a stable ferroelectric polarization arises from the nontrivial coupling between polar displacements and octahedral rotations of the SnI6 network. These ferroelectric double perovskites are predicted to have energy band gaps and carrier effective masses similar to those of CsSnI3. More importantly, unlike nonpolar CsSnI3, the electric polarization present in ferroelectric (CsRb)Sn2I6 can effectively separate the photoexcited carriers, leading to novel ferroelectric PV materials with potentially enhanced energy conversion efficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry