Electron-beam-induced cracking in organic-inorganic halide Perovskite thin films

Srinivas K. Yadavalli, Min Chen, Mingyu Hu, Zhenghong Dai, Yuanyuan Zhou, Nitin P. Padture*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The curious phenomenon of cracking in organic-inorganic halide perovskite (OIHP) thin films for solar cells during scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can be seen in literally thousands of published SEM micrographs. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, the mechanisms responsible for this e-beam-induced damage in OIHP thin films, which is precluding their detailed SEM-characterization and understanding. The e-beam-induced rapid volatilization of the organic species from the OIHP surface in the SEM results in localized shrinkage and buildup of tensile stresses. These stresses drive grain-boundaries cracking, resulting in a ‘mud-cracking’ pattern that is influenced by the thin-film grain size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalScripta Materialia
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys

User-Defined Keywords

  • Fracture
  • Grain boundaries
  • Halide perovskites
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Thin films


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