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  1. Grain boundaries (GBs) in perovskite solar cells and optoelectronic devices are widely regarded as detrimental defects that accelerate charge and energy losses through nonradiative carrier trapping and recombination, but the mechanism is still under debate owing to the diversity of GB configurations and behaviors. We combine ab initio electronic structure and machine learning force field to investigate evolution of the geometric and electronic structure of a CsPbBr 3 GB on a nanosecond timescale, which is comparable with the carrier recombination time. We demonstrate that the GB slides spontaneously within a few picoseconds increasing the band gap. Subsequent structural oscillations dynamically produce midgap trap states through Pb–Pb interactions across the GB. After several hundred picoseconds, structural distortions start to occur, increasing the occurrence of deep midgap states. We identify a distinct correlation of the average Pb–Pb distance and fluctuations in the ion coordination numbers with the appearance of the midgap states. Suppressing GB distortions through annealing and breaking up Pb–Pb dimers by passivation can efficiently alleviate the detrimental effects of GBs in perovskites. The study provides new insights into passivation of the detrimental GB defects, and demonstrates that structural and charge carrier dynamics in perovskites are intimately coupled. 
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  2. Photoinduced nonequilibrium processes in nanoscale materials play key roles in photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications. This review summarizes recent theoretical investigations of excited state dynamics in metal halide perovskites (MHPs), carried out using a state-of-the-art methodology combining nonadiabatic molecular dynamics with real-time time-dependent density functional theory. The simulations allow one to study evolution of charge carriers at the ab initio level and in the time-domain, in direct connection with time-resolved spectroscopy experiments. Eliminating the need for the common approximations, such as harmonic phonons, a choice of the reaction coordinate, weak electron–phonon coupling, a particular kinetic mechanism, and perturbative calculation of rate constants, we model full-dimensional quantum dynamics of electrons coupled to semiclassical vibrations. We study realistic aspects of material composition and structure and their influence on various nonequilibrium processes, including nonradiative trapping and relaxation of charge carriers, hot carrier cooling and luminescence, Auger-type charge–charge scattering, multiple excitons generation and recombination, charge and energy transfer between donor and acceptor materials, and charge recombination inside individual materials and across donor/acceptor interfaces. These phenomena are illustrated with representative materials and interfaces. Focus is placed on response to external perturbations, formation of point defects and their passivation, mixed stoichiometries, dopants, grain boundaries, and interfaces of MHPs with charge transport layers, and quantum confinement. In addition to bulk materials, perovskite quantum dots and 2D perovskites with different layer and spacer cation structures, edge passivation, and dielectric screening are discussed. The atomistic insights into excited state dynamics under realistic conditions provide the fundamental understanding needed for design of advanced solar energy and optoelectronic devices. 
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  4. Graphitic carbon nitride (GCN) has attracted significant attention due to its excellent performance in photocatalytic applications. Non-metal doping of GCN has been widely used to improve the efficiency of the material as a photocatalyst. Using a combination of time-domain density functional theory with nonadiabatic molecular dynamics, we study the charge carrier dynamics in oxygen and boron doped GCN systems. The reported simulations provide a detailed time-domain mechanistic description of the charge separation and recombination processes that are of fundamental importance while evaluating the photovoltaic and photocatalytic performance of the material. The appearance of smaller energy gaps due to the presence of dopant states improves the visible light absorption range of the doped systems. At the same time, the nonradiative lifetimes are shortened in the doped systems as compared to the pristine GCN. In the case of boron doped at a carbon (B–C–GCN), the charge recombination time is very long as compared to the other two doped systems owing to the smaller electron–phonon coupling strength between the valence band maximum and the trap state. The results suggest B–C–GCN as the most suitable candidate among three doped systems studied in this work for applications in photocatalysis. This work sheds light into the influence of dopants on quantum dynamics processes that govern GCN performance and, thus, guides toward building high-performance devices in photocatalysis.

     
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