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  1. Abstract

    Defects, such as halide interstitials, act as charge recombination centers, induce degradation of halide perovskites, and create major obstacles to applications of these materials. Alkali metal dopants greatly improve perovskite performance. Using ab initio nonadiabatic molecular dynamics, it is demonstrated that alkalis bring favorable effects. The formation energy of halide interstitials increases by up to a factor of four in the presence of alkali dopants, and therefore, defect concentration decreases. When defects are present, alkali metals strongly bind to them. Halide interstitials introduce mid‐gap states that rapidly trap charge carriers. Alkalis eliminate the trap states, helping to maintain high current density. Further to charge trapping, the interstitials accelerate charge recombination. By passivating the interstitials, alkalis make carrier lifetimes up to seven times longer than in defect‐free perovskites and up to thirty times longer than in defective perovskites.

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  2. Critical role of hydrogen bond network is unraveled by integrating nuclear quantum effects into nonadiabatic molecular dynamics. 
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  3. The mixed tin (Sn) and lead (Pb) perovskite compositions have shown great potential in perovskite photovoltaic devices due to the significantly enhanced material stability and prolonged carrier lifetime, compared to the pure Sn halide perovskites. In spite of the increasing interest, the behaviors of photo-generated charges and of the intrinsic point defects, such as the metal cation vacancies (V Sn and V Pb ) and the interstitial halogen (i I ), have not been well understood in this class of materials. We report first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations combined with ab initio non-adiabatic molecular dynamics (NAMD) simulations on the static and dynamic structures of MA 2 SnPbI 6 with and without these intrinsic defects. We discuss the nature of the defect states and unveil the influence of the intrinsic point defects on the structure, optoelectronic properties, and charge carrier dynamics of MA 2 SnPbI 6 . The i I defect significantly shortens the carrier lifetime by creating mid-gap states that provide new recombination pathways. In comparison, the vacancy defects have much weaker influence on the carrier lifetime. Both V Sn and V Pb produce the defect states just below the valence band maxima (VBMs), and do not alter the band gap. They affect the carrier lifetime through changing the energy dispersions of VBMs and the conduction band minima (CBMs). We suggest that excess cations should be used in the synthesis of perovskites to avoid the appearance of interstitial halogen defects. 
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