Tag Archives: Matthew Wolf

Vacancy dipole interactions and the correlation with monovalent cation dependent ion movement in lead halide perovskite solar cell materials

Authors: M.Pazoki, M. J. Wolf, T. Edvinsson and J.Kullgren

Ion migration has recently been suggested to play critical roles in the operation of lead halide perovskite solar cells. However, so far there has been no systematic investigation of how the monovalent cation affects the vacancy formation, ion migration and the associated hysteresis effect. Here, we present density functional theory calculations on all possible ion migration barriers in the perovskite materials with different cations i.e. CH3NH3PbI3, CH(NH2)2PbI3 and CsPbI3 in the tetragonal phase and investigate vacancy monovalent-cation interactions within the framework of the possible ion migrations. The most relevant ion movement (iodide) is investigated in greater detail and corresponding local structural changes, the relationships with the local ionic dielectric response, Stark effect and current-voltage hysteresis are discussed. We observe a correlation between the energy barrier for iodine migration and the magnitude of the dipole of the monovalent cation. From the data, we suggest a vacancy-dipole interaction mechanism by which the larger dipole of the monovalent cation can respond to and screen the local electric fields more effectively. The stronger response of the high dipolar monovalent cation to the vacancy electrostatic potential in turn leads to a lower local structural changes within the neighbouring octahedra. The presented data reveal a detailed picture of the ion movement, vacancy dipole interactions and the consequent local structural changes, which contain fundamental information about the photo-physics, and dielectric response of the material.

Nano Energy, 38, 2017, pp. 537-543
DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2017.06.024

DFT-based Monte Carlo Simulations of Impurity Clustering at CeO2(111)

Authors: Jolla Kullgren, Matthew J. Wolf, Pavlin D. Mitev, Kersti Hermansson and Wim J. Briels

The interplay between energetics and entropy in determining defect distributions at ceria(111) is studied using a combination of DFT+U and lattice Monte Carlo simulations. Our main example is fluorine impurities, although we also present preliminary results for surface hydroxyl groups. A simple classical force-field model was constructed from a training set of DFT+U data for all symmetrically inequivalent (F)n(Ce3+)n nearest-neighbor clusters with n = 2 or 3. Our fitted model reproduces the DFT energies well. We find that for an impurity concentration of 15% at 600 K, straight and hooked linear fluorine clusters are surprisingly abundant, with similarities to experimental STM images from the literature. We also find that with increasing temperature the fluorine cluster sizes show a transition from being governed by an attractive potential to being governed by a repulsive potential as a consequence of the increasing importance of the entropy of the Ce3+ ions. The distributions of surface hydroxyl groups are noticeably different.

J. Phys. Chem. C, 2017, 121 (28), pp 15127–15134
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b00299

Electronic structure of organic–inorganic lanthanide iodide perovskite solar cell materials

Authors: M. Pazoki, A. Röckert, M. J. Wolf, R. Imani, T. Edvinsson, and J. Kullgren.

The emergence of highly efficient lead halide perovskite solar cell materials makes the exploration and engineering of new lead free compounds very interesting both from a fundamental perspective as well as for potential use as new materials in solar cell devices. Herein we present the electronic structure of several lanthanide (La) based materials in the metalorganic halide perovskite family not explored before. Our estimated bandgaps for the lanthanide (Eu, Dy, Tm, Yb) perovskite compounds are in the range of 2.0–3.2 eV showing the possibility for implementation as photo-absorbers in tandem solar cell configurations or charge separating materials. We have estimated the typical effective masses of the electrons and holes for MALaI3 (La= Eu, Dy, Tm, Yb) to be in the range of 0.3–0.5 and 0.97–4.0 units of the free electron mass, respectively. We have shown that the localized f-electrons within our DFT+U approach, make the dominant electronic contribution to the states at the top of the valence band and thus have a strong impact on the photo-physical properties of the lanthanide perovskites. Therefore, the main valence to conduction band electronic transition for MAEuI3 is based on inner shell f-electron localized states within a periodic framework of perovskite crystal by which the optical absorption onset would be rather inert with respect to quantum confinement effects. The very similar crystal structure and lattice constant of the lanthanide perovskites to the widely studied CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite, are prominent advantages for implementation of these compounds in tandem or charge selective contacts in PV applications together with lead iodide perovskite devices.

J. Mater. Chem. A, 5, 2017, pp. 23131-23138
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07716E

Self-Consistent-Charge Density-Functional Tight-Binding (SCC-DFTB) Parameters for Ceria in 0D to 3D

Authors: Jolla Per Kullgren, Matthew Jason Wolf, Kersti Hermansson, Christof Köhler, Bálint Aradi, Thomas Frauenheim, and Peter Broqvist

Reducible oxides such as CeO2 are challanging to describe
with standard density functional theory (DFT) due to the mixed valence states of the cations, and often require the use of additional correction schemes, an
d/or more computationally expen- sive methods. This adds a new layer of complexity when it comes to the generation of Slater-Koster tables and the corresponding repulsive potentials for self-consistent density functional based tight binding (SCC-DFTB) calculations of such materials. In this work, we provide guidelines for how to set up a parameterisation scheme for mixed valence oxides within the SCC-DFTB framework, with a focus on reproducing structural and electronic properties as well as redox reaction energies calculated using a reference DFT method. This parameterisation procedure has been used to generate parameters for Ce–O interactions, with Ce in its +III or +IV formal oxidation states. The generated parameter set is validated through comparison to DFT calculations for various ceria (CeO2) and reduced ceria (CeO2−x ) systems of different dimensionalities ranging from 0D (nano-particles) to 3D (bulk). As oxygen vacancy defects in ceria are of crucial importance to many technological applications, special focus is directed towards the capability of describing such defects accurately.

J. Phys. Chem. C2017, 121 (8), pp 4593–4607
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b10557

Fluorine impurities at CeO2(111): Effects on oxygen vacancy formation, molecular adsorption, and surface re-oxidation

Authors: Matthew J. Wolf, Jolla Kullgren, Peter Broqvist, and Kersti Hermansson

We investigate the effects of anion doping with fluorine impurities on the chemistry of the CeO2 (111) facet, using the results of DFT + U calculations. We consider three prototypical processes: the formation of oxygen vacancies, the adsorption of O2 and H2O molecules, and the re-oxidation of the surface with fragments of the two molecules. We find that the first two of these processes are not strongly affected, but that the presence of F lowers the energy gained in the re-oxidation of the surface in comparison to the healing of an oxygen vacancy, by 1.47 eV in the case of O2 (provided that the F is part of a cluster) and by 0.92 eV in the case of H2O. Based on these results, we suggest that F could enhance the redox chemistry of ceria by toggling between being in the surfaceand on the surface, effectively facilitating the release of lattice O by acting as a “place holder” for it. Finally, we find that the desorption of F as either 1212F2 or HF is energetically unfavourable, suggesting that F doped ceria should be stable in the presence of O2 and H2O.
J. Chem. Phys. 2017, 146, 044703
DOI: 10.1063/1.4973239 

Engineering Polarons at a Metal Oxide Surface

Authors: C. M. Yim, M. B. Watkins, M. J. Wolf, C. L. Pang, K. Hermansson, and G. Thornton

Engineering Polarons Figure 1Polarons in metal oxides are important in processes such as catalysis, high temperature superconductivity, and dielectric breakdown in nanoscale electronics. Here, we study the behavior of electron small polarons associated with oxygen vacancies at rutile TiO2(110), using a combination of low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), density functional theory, and classical molecular dynamics calculations. We find that the electrons are symmetrically distributed around isolated vacancies at 78 K, but as the temperature is reduced, their distributions become increasingly asymmetric, confirming their polaronic nature. By manipulating isolated vacancies with the STM tip, we show that particular configurations of polarons are preferred for given locations of the vacancies, which we ascribe to small residual electric fields in the surface. We also form a series of vacancy complexes and manipulate the Ti ions surrounding them, both of which change the associated electronic distributions. Thus, we demonstrate that the configurations of polarons can be engineered, paving the way for the construction of conductive pathways relevant to resistive switching devices.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 116402, (2016)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.116402

ReaxFF Force-Field for Ceria Bulk, Surfaces, and Nanoparticles

Authors: Peter BroqvistJolla KullgrenMatthew J. WolfAdri C. T. van Duin, and Kersti Hermansson


We have developed a reactive force-field of the ReaxFF type for stoichiometric ceria (CeO2) and partially reduced ceria (CeO2–x). We describe the parametrization procedure and provide results validating the parameters in terms of their ability to accurately describe the oxygen chemistry of the bulk, extended surfaces, surface steps, and nanoparticles of the material. By comparison with our reference electronic structure method (PBE+U), we find that the stoichiometric bulk and surface systems are well reproduced in terms of bulk modulus, lattice parameters, and surface energies. For the surfaces, step energies on the (111) surface are also well described. Upon reduction, the force-field is able to capture the bulk and surface vacancy formation energies (Evac), and in particular, it reproduces the Evac variation with depth from the (110) and (111) surfaces. The force-field is also able to capture the energy hierarchy of differently shaped stoichiometric nanoparticles (tetrahedra, octahedra, and cubes), and of partially reduced octahedra. For these reasons, we believe that this force-field provides a significant addition to the method repertoire available for simulating redox properties at ceria surfaces.

J. Phys. Chem. C2015119 (24), pp 13598–13609

The Structure and Properties of Clean Steps at Oxide Surfaces

Authors: Matthew J. Wolf, Alexander L. Shluger

We present an overview of the structure and properties of clean steps at the surfaces of binary oxides, utilising recent data from scanning probe and spectroscopic experiments, and theoretical calculations. We review and discuss their atomic structure, electronic structure, and interactions with prototypical point defects, using examples from studies on technologically important oxides such as MgO, CeO2, TiO2 and ZrO2. We also review methods of calculating the step formation energy, and discuss reasons for their limited success in explaining the step structures observed in experiments.

Defects at Oxide Surfaces , Springer Series in Surface Sciences Volume 58 , 2015, pp 191-214.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-14367-5_6

Oxygen Vacancies versus Fluorine at CeO2(111): A Case of Mistaken Identity?

Authors: J. Kullgren, M. J. Wolf, C. W. M. Castleton, P. D. Mitev, W. J. Briels, and K. Hermansson

mediumWe propose a resolution to the puzzle presented by the surface defects observed with STM at the (111) surface facet of CeO2 single crystals. In the seminal paper of Esch et al. [Science 309, 752 (2005)] they were identified with oxygen vacancies, but the observed behavior of these defects is inconsistent with the results of density functional theory (DFT) studies of oxygen vacancies in the literature. We resolve these inconsistencies via DFT calculations of the properties of both oxygen vacancies and fluorine impurities at CeO2(111), the latter having recently been shown to exist in high concentrations in single crystals from a widely used commercial source of such samples. We find that the simulated filled-state STM images of surface-layer oxygen vacancies and fluorine impurities are essentially identical, which would render problematic their experimental distinction by such images alone. However, we find that our theoretical results for the most stable location, mobility, and tendency to cluster, of fluorine impurities are consistent with experimental observations, in contrast to those for oxygen vacancies. Based on these results, we propose that the surface defects observed in STM experiments on CeO2 single crystals reported heretofore were not oxygen vacancies, but fluorine impurities. Since the similarity of the simulated STM images of the two defects is due primarily to the relative energies of the 2p states of oxygen and fluorine ions, this confusion might also occur for other oxides which have been either doped or contaminated with fluorine.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 156102
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.156102

Dalton Transactions poster prize

Inorganic-days-poster-prize-200x300The conference “Oorgandagarna – Inorganic Days” was held in Åhus in Sweden from 17-19 June 2013. Dalton Transactions sponsored two poster prizes, and the two winners were Erik Lewin and Matthew Wolf from Uppsala University. Congratulations to Erik and Matthew, and I hope all the conference attendees had a great time!