Nanoscale mapping of humid degradation-induced local mechanical property variation in CH3NH3PbI3 polycrystalline film by scanning probe microscopy

Wan Ci Liao, Bernard Haochih Liu, Ching Chich Leu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We reported on the humid degradation-induced local elastic modulus (Young's modulus) variation in CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3) polycrystalline film investigated by scanning probe microscopy (SPM) in humid ambient. The SPM equipped with PeakForce Quantitative Nanomechanical Measurement (PeakForce QNM) has ability to probe the near-surface elastic modulus on the specific position of material, examining the correlation between the local mechanical property and the microstructure of film through the nanoscale mapping of elastic modulus. Based on the observed variation of elastic modulus of film with aging time, we proposed a four stage degradation process, due to the development of MAPbI3·H2O and PbI2 phases, occurred on the MAPbI3 film when it aged in ambient. Evidently, the grain boundary plays a critical role for degradation process in a polycrystalline film, leading to a distinct result to that in the MAPbI3 single crystal. When the MAPbI3·H2O developed at the grain boundary, it perturbed from surface to form the low modulus humps. Our study result also suggested that grain boundary is the last region of film surface to form PbI2 under a humid ambient. These analyses provided key insights into the microstructural effects on the degradation process of a MAPbI3 polycrystalline film.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145078
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 30


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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