Effect of vacancy concentration on the lattice thermal conductivity of CH3NH3PbI3: a molecular dynamics study

SN Hong and CJ Yu and UG Jong and SH Choe and YH Kye, RSC ADVANCES, 11, 34015-34023 (2021).

DOI: 10.1039/d1ra05393k

Hybrid halide perovskites are drawing great interest for photovoltaic and thermoelectric applications, but the relationship of thermal conductivities with vacancy defects remains unresolved. Here, we present a systematic investigation of the thermal conductivity of perfect and defective CH3NH3PbI3, performed using classical molecular dynamics with an ab initio-derived force field. We calculate the lattice thermal conductivity of perfect CH3NH3PbI3 as the temperature increases from 300 K to 420 K, confirming a good agreement with the previous theoretical and experimental data. Our calculations reveal that the thermal conductivities of defective systems at 330 K, containing vacancy defects such as V-MA, V-Pb and V-I, decrease overall with some slight rises, as the vacancy concentration increases from 0 to 1%. We show that such vacancies act as phonon scattering centers, thereby reducing the thermal conductivity. Moreover, we determine the elastic moduli and sound velocities of the defective systems, revealing that their slower sound speed is responsible for the lower thermal conductivity. These results could be useful for developing hybrid halide perovskite-based solar cells and thermoelectric devices with high performance.

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