Hybrid organolead trihalide perovskite (OTP) solar cells have developed as a promising candidate in photovoltaics due to their excellent properties including a direct bandgap, strong absorption coefficient, long carrier lifetime, and high mobility. Most recently, formamidinium (NH2CH=NH2+ or FA) lead iodide (FAPbI3) has attracted significant attention due to several advantages: (1) the larger organic FA cation can replace the MA cation and form a more symmetric crystal structure, (2) the smaller bandgap of FAPbI3 allows for near infrared (NIR) absorption, and (3) FAPbI3 has an elevated decomposition temperature and thus potential to improve stability. Single crystals provide an excellent model system to study the intrinsic electrical and optical properties of these materials due to their high purity, which is particularly important to understand the limits of these materials.
In this work, we report the growth of large (~5 millimeter size) single crystal FAPbI3 using a novel liquid based crystallization method. The single crystal FAPbI3 demonstrated a δ-phase to α-phase transition with a color change from yellow to black when heated to 185°C within approximately two minutes. The crystal structures of the two phases were identified and the PL emission peak of the α-phase FAPbI3 (820 nm) shows clear red-shift compared to the FAPbI3 thin film (805 nm). The FAPbI3 single crystal shows a long carrier lifetime of 484 ns, a high carrier mobility of 4.4 cm2·V-1·s-1, and even more interestingly a conductivity of 1.1 × 10-7(ohm·cm)-1, which is approximately one order of magnitude higher than that of the MAPbI3 single crystal. Finally, high performance photoconductivity type photodetectors were successfully demonstrated using the single crystal FAPbI3.