Influence of Halides on the Interactions of Ammonium Acids with Metal Halide Perovskites

Yanan Li, Patrick J. Lohr, Allison Segapeli, Juliana Baltram, Dorian Werner, Alex Allred, Krishna Muralidharan, Adam D. Printz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Additive engineering is a common strategy to improve the performance and stability of metal halide perovskite through the modulation of crystallization kinetics and passivation of surface defects. However, much of this work has lacked a systematic approach necessary to understand how the functionality and molecular structure of the additives influence perovskite performance and stability. This paper describes the inclusion of low concentrations of 5-aminovaleric acid (5-AVA) and its ammonium acid derivatives, 5-ammoniumvaleric acid iodide (5-AVAI) and 5-ammoniumvaleric acid chloride (5-AVACl), into the precursor inks for methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite and highlights the important role of halides in affecting the interactions of additives with perovskite and film properties. The film quality, as determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and photoluminescence (PL) spectrophotometry, is shown to improve with the inclusion of all additives, but an increase in annealing time from 5 to 30 min is necessary. We observe an increase in grain size and a decrease in film roughness with the incorporation of 5-AVAI and 5-AVACl with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Critically, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements and density functional theory (DFT) calculations show that 5-AVAI and 5-AVACl preferentially interact with MAPbI3 surfaces via the ammonium functional group, while 5-AVA will interact with either amino or carboxylic acid functional groups. Charge localization analysis shows the surprising result that HCl dissociates from 5-AVACl in vacuum, resulting in the decomposition of the ammonium acid to 5-AVA. We show that device repeatability is improved with the inclusion of all additives and that 5-AVACl increases the power conversion efficiency of devices from 17.61 ± 1.07 to 18.07 ± 0.42%. Finally, we show stability improvements for unencapsulated devices exposed to 50% relative humidity, with devices incorporating 5-AVAI and 5-AVACl exhibiting the greatest improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24387-24398
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 24 2023


  • ammonium halide salt additives
  • first principles
  • halide exchange
  • hybrid organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites
  • multifunctional additives
  • perovskite solar cells
  • surface passivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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