Lattice dynamics and vibrational spectra of the orthorhombic, tetragonal, and cubic phases of methylammonium lead iodide

Federico Brivio, Jarvist M. Frost, Jonathan M. Skelton, Adam J. Jackson, Oliver J. Weber, Mark T. Weller, Alejandro R. Goñi, Aurélien M.A. Leguy, Piers R.F. Barnes, Aron Walsh

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393 Citations (Scopus)


The hybrid halide perovskite CH3NH3PbI3 exhibits a complex structural behavior, with successive transitions between orthorhombic, tetragonal, and cubic polymorphs around 165 and 327 K. Herein we report first-principles lattice dynamics (phonon spectrum) for each phase of CH3NH3PbI3. The equilibrium structures compare well to solutions of temperature-dependent powder neutron diffraction. By following the normal modes, we calculate infrared and Raman intensities of the vibrations, and compare them to the measurement of a single crystal where the Raman laser is controlled to avoid degradation of the sample. Despite a clear separation in energy between low-frequency modes associated with the inorganic (PbI3-)n network and high-frequency modes of the organic CH3NH3+ cation, significant coupling between them is found, which emphasizes the interplay between molecular orientation and the corner-sharing octahedral networks in the structural transformations. Soft modes are found at the boundary of the Brillouin zone of the cubic phase, consistent with displacive instabilities and anharmonicity involving tilting of the PbI6 octahedra around room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144308
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 16

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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