Atomic partial charges on CH3NH3PbI3 from first-principles electronic structure calculations

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We calculated the partial charges in methylammonium (MA) lead-iodide perovskite CH3NH3PbI3 in its different crystalline phases using different first-principles electronic charge partitioning approaches, including the Bader, ChelpG, and density-derived electrostatic and chemical (DDEC) schemes. Among the three charge partitioning methods, the DDEC approach provides chemically intuitive and reliable atomic charges for this material, which consists of a mixture of transition metals, halide ions, and organic molecules. The DDEC charges are also found to be robust against the use of hybrid functionals and/or upon inclusion of spin-orbit coupling or dispersive interactions. We calculated explicitly the atomic charges with a special focus on the dipole moment of the MA molecules within the perovskite structure. The value of the dipole moment of the MA is reduced with respect to the isolated molecule due to charge redistribution involving the inorganic cage. DDEC charges and dipole moment of the organic part remain nearly unchanged upon its rotation within the octahedral cavities. Our findings will be of both fundamental and practical importance, as the accurate and consistent determination of the atomic charges is important in order to understand the average equilibrium distribution of the electrons and to help in the development of force fields for larger scale atomistic simulations to describe static, dynamic, and thermodynamic properties of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165501
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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