Microscopic insight into non-radiative decay in perovskite semiconductors from temperature-dependent luminescence blinking

Marina Gerhard, Boris Louis, Rafael Camacho, Aboma Merdasa, Jun Li, Alexander Kiligaridis, Alexander Dobrovolsky, Johan Hofkens, Ivan G. Scheblykin (see publication in Journal )


Organo-metal halide perovskites are promising solution-processed semiconductors, however, they possess diverse and largely not understood non-radiative mechanisms. Here, we resolve contributions of individual non-radiative recombination centers (quenchers) in nanocrystals of methylammonium lead iodide by studying their photoluminescence blinking caused by random switching of quenchers between active and passive states. We propose a model to describe the observed reduction of blinking upon cooling and determine energetic barriers of 0.2 to 0.8 eV for enabling the switching process, which points to ion migration as the underlying mechanism. Moreover, due to the strong influence of individual quenchers, the crystals show very individually-shaped photoluminescence enhancement upon cooling, suggesting that the high variety of activation energies of the PL enhancement reported in literature is not related to intrinsic properties but rather to the defect chemistry. Stabilizing the fluctuating quenchers in their passive states thus appears to be a promising strategy for improving the material quality.