Formation of stable 2D methylammonium antimony iodide phase for lead-free perovskite-like solar cells

Nadja Giesbrecht, Andreas Weis, Thomas Bein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The presence of lead in novel hybrid perovskite-based solar cells remains a significant issue regarding commercial applications.Therefore, antimony-based perovskite-likeA3M2X9 structures are promising new candidates for low toxicity photovoltaic applications. So far,MA3Sb2I9 was reported to only crystallize in the ‘zero-dimensional’ (0D) dimer structure with wide indirect bandgap properties. However, the formation of the 2D layered polymorph is more suitable for solar cell applications due to its expected direct and narrow bandgap. Here, we demonstrate the first synthesis of phase pure 2D layered MA3Sb2I9, based on antimony acetate dissolved in alcoholic solvents.Using in situ XRD methods, we confirm the stability of the layered phase towards high temperature, but the exposure to 75%relative humidity for several hours leads to a rearrangement of the phase with partial formation of the 0D structure. We investigated the electronic band structure and confirmed experimentally the presence of a semi-direct bandgap at around 2.1 eV.Our work shows that careful control of nucleation via processing conditions can provide access to promising perovskite-like phases for photovoltaic applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024007
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics: Energy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • photovoltaics
  • antimony
  • lead-free
  • perovskite-like
  • 2D

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