Dynamic Local Structure in Caesium Lead Iodide: Spatial Correlation and Transient Domains

WJ Baldwin and X Liang and J Klarbring and M Dubajic and D Angelo and C Sutton and C Caddeo and SD Stranks and A Mattoni and A Walsh and G Csányi, SMALL (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/smll.202303565

Metal halide perovskites are multifunctional semiconductors with tunable structures and properties. They are highly dynamic crystals with complex octahedral tilting patterns and strongly anharmonic atomic behavior. In the higher temperature, higher symmetry phases of these materials, several complex structural features are observed. The local structure can differ greatly from the average structure and there is evidence that dynamic 2D structures of correlated octahedral motion form. An understanding of the underlying complex atomistic dynamics is, however, still lacking. In this work, the local structure of the inorganic perovskite CsPbI3 is investigated using a new machine learning force field based on the atomic cluster expansion framework. Through analysis of the temporal and spatial correlation observed during large-scale simulations, it is revealed that the low frequency motion of octahedral tilts implies a double-well effective potential landscape, even well into the cubic phase. Moreover, dynamic local regions of lower symmetry are present within both higher symmetry phases. These regions are planar and the length and timescales of the motion are reported. Finally, the spatial arrangement of these features and their interactions are investigated and visualized, providing a comprehensive picture of local structure in the higher symmetry phases.

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