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High-Throughput Automated Exploration of Phase Growth Behaviors in Quasi-2D Formamidinium Metal Halide Perovskites

by Jonghee Yang, Benjamin J Lawrie, Sergei Kalinin, Mahshid Ahmadi
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Advanced Energy Materials
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Quasi-2D metal halide perovskites (MHPs) are an emerging material platform for sustainable functional optoelectronics, but the uncontrollable, broad phase distribution remains a critical challenge for applications. Nevertheless, the basic principles for controlling phases in quasi-2D MHPs remain poorly understood, due to the rapid crystallization kinetics during the conventional thin-film fabrication process. Herein, a high-throughput automated synthesis-characterization-analysis workflow is implemented to accelerate material exploration in formamidinium (FA)-based quasi-2D MHP compositional space, revealing the early-stage phase growth behaviors fundamentally determining the phase distributions. Upon comprehensive exploration with varying synthesis conditions including 2D:3D composition ratios, antisolvent injection rates, and temperatures in an automated synthesis-characterization platform, it is observed that the prominent n = 2 2D phase restricts the growth kinetics of 3D-like phases—α-FAPbI3 MHPs with spacer-coordinated surface—across the MHP compositions. Thermal annealing is a critical step for proper phase growth, although it can lead to the emergence of unwanted local PbI2 crystallites. Additionally, fundamental insights into the precursor chemistry associated with spacer-solvent interaction determining the quasi-2D MHP morphologies and microstructures are demonstrated. The high-throughput study provides comprehensive insights into the fundamental principles in quasi-2D MHP phase control, enabling new control of the functionalities in complex materials systems for sustainable device applications.