Mechanism of Crystal Formation in Ruddlesden-Popper Sn-Based Perovskites

Jingjin Dong, Shuyan Shao, Simon Kahmann, Alexander J. Rommens, Daniel Hermida-Merino, Gert H. ten Brink, Maria A. Loi*, Giuseppe Portale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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Knowledge of the mechanism of formation, orientation, and location of phases inside thin perovskite films is essential to optimize their optoelectronic properties. Among the most promising, low toxicity, lead-free perovskites, the tin-based ones are receiving much attention. Here, an extensive in situ and ex situ structural study is performed on the mechanism of crystallization from solution of 3D formamidinium tin iodide (FASnI(3)), 2D phenylethylammonium tin iodide (PEA(2)SnI(4)), and hybrid PEA(2)FA(n)(-1)Sn(n)I(3)(n)(+1) Ruddlesden-Popper perovskites. Addition of small amounts of low-dimensional component promotes oriented 3D-like crystallite growth in the top part of the film, together with an aligned quasi-2D bottom-rich phase. The sporadic bulk nucleation occurring in the pure 3D system is negligible in the pure 2D and in the hybrid systems with sufficiently high PEA content, where only surface crystallization occurs. Moreover, tin-based perovskites form through a direct conversion of a disordered precursor phase without forming ordered solvated intermediates and thus without the need of thermal annealing steps. The findings are used to explain the device performances over a wide range of composition and shed light onto the mechanism of the formation of one of the most promising Sn-based perovskites, providing opportunities to further improve the performances of these interesting Pb-free materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2001294
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number24
Early online date31-Mar-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2020


  • crystal orientation
  • film formation mechanism
  • in situ GIWAXS
  • Ruddlesden-Popper
  • spin coating
  • tin perovskite solar cells
  • TIN
  • Ruddlesden–Popper

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