Mapping emission heterogeneity in layered halide perovskites using cathodoluminescence

Nanotechnology. 2023 Dec 27;35(10). doi: 10.1088/1361-6528/ad12ec.


Recent advancements in the fabrication of layered halide perovskites and their subsequent modification for optoelectronic applications have ushered in a need for innovative characterisation techniques. In particular, heterostructures containing multiple phases and consequently featuring spatially defined optoelectronic properties are very challenging to study. Here, we adopt an approach centered on cathodoluminescence, complemented by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy analysis. Cathodoluminescence enables assessment of local emission variations by injecting charges with a nanometer-scale electron probe, which we use to investigate emission changes in three different systems: PEA2PbBr4, PEA2PbI4and lateral heterostructures of the two, fabricated via halide substitution. We identify and map different emission bands that can be correlated with local chemical composition and geometry. One emission band is characteristic of bromine-based halide perovskite, while the other originates from iodine-based perovskite. The coexistence of these emissions bands in the halide-substituted sample confirms the formation of lateral heterostructures. To improve the signal quality of the acquired data, we employed multivariate analysis, specifically the non-negative matrix factorization algorithm, on both cathodoluminescence and compositional datasets. The resulting understanding of the halide replacement process and identification of potential synergies in the optical properties will lead to optimised architectures for optoelectronic applications.

Keywords: PEA2PbBr4-PEA2PbI4; cathodoluminescence; heterostructure; non-negative matrix factorization; perovskite.