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Crystals 2018, 8(2), 60; doi:10.3390/cryst8020060

Effect of the Ultrasonic Substrate Vibration on Nucleation and Crystallization of PbI2 Crystals and Thin Films

State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai 200240, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Preparation of defect-free and well-controlled solution-processed crystalline thin films is highly desirable for emerging technologies, such as perovskite solar cells. In this work, using PbI2 as a model solution with a vast variety of applications, we demonstrate that the excitation of a liquid thin film by imposed ultrasonic vibration on the film substrate significantly affects the nucleation and crystallization kinetics of PbI2 and the morphology of the resulting solid thin film. It is found that by applying ultrasonic vibration to PbI2 solution spun onto an ITO substrate with a moderate power and excitation duration (5 W and 1 min for the 40 kHz transducer used in this study), the nucleation rate increases and the crystals transform from 2D or planar to epitaxial 3D columnar structures, resulting in the suppression of crystallization dewetting. The effects of various induced physical phenomena as a result of the excitation by ultrasonic vibration are discussed, including microstreaming and micromixing, increased heat transfer and local temperature, a change in the thermodynamic state of the solution, and a decrease in the supersaturation point. It is shown that the ultrasonic-assisted solution deposition of the PbI2 thin films is controllable and reproducible, a process which is low-cost and in line with the large-scale fabrication of such solution-processed thin films. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasonic vibration; crystallization kinetics; dewetting; PbI2; perovskites; solution-processed ultrasonic vibration; crystallization kinetics; dewetting; PbI2; perovskites; solution-processed

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zabihi, F.; Eslamian, M. Effect of the Ultrasonic Substrate Vibration on Nucleation and Crystallization of PbI2 Crystals and Thin Films. Crystals 2018, 8, 60.

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