Unraveling the Chemical Nature of the 3D "hollow" Hybrid Halide Perovskites

Ioannis Spanopoulos, Weijun Ke, Konstantinos Stoumpos, Emily C. Schueller, Oleg Y. Kontsevoi, Ram Seshadri, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The newly introduced class of 3D halide perovskites, termed "hollow" perovskites, has been recently demonstrated as light absorbing semiconductor materials for fabricating lead-free perovskite solar cells with enhanced efficiency and superior stability. Hollow perovskites derive from three-dimensional (3D) AMX3 perovskites (A = methylammonium (MA), formamidinium (FA); M = Sn, Pb; X = Cl, Br, I), where small molecules such as ethylenediammonium cations (en) can be incorporated as the dication without altering the structure dimensionality. We present in this work the inherent structural properties of the hollow perovskites and expand this class of materials to the Pb-based analogues. Through a combination of physical and spectroscopic methods (XRD, gas pycnometry, 1H NMR, TGA, SEM/EDX), we have assigned the general formula (A)1-x(en)x(M)1-0.7x(X)3-0.4x to the hollow perovskites. The incorporation of en in the 3D perovskite structure leads to massive M and X vacancies in the 3D [MX3] framework, thus the term hollow. The resulting materials are semiconductors with significantly blue-shifted direct band gaps from 1.25 to 1.51 eV for Sn-based perovskites and from 1.53 to 2.1 eV for the Pb-based analogues. The increased structural disorder and hollow nature were validated by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis as well as pair distribution function (PDF) analysis. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations support the experimental trends and suggest that the observed widening of the band gap is attributed to the massive M and X vacancies, which create a less connected 3D hollow structure. The resulting materials have superior air stability, where in the case of Sn-based hollow perovskites it exceeds two orders of temporal magnitude compared to the conventional full perovskites of MASnI3 and FASnI3. The hollow perovskite compounds pose as a new platform of promising light absorbers that can be utilized in single junction or tandem solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5728-5742
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 2 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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