Phase Separation of Br-Doped CsPbI3: A Combined Cluster Expansion, Monte Carlo, and DFT Study

Prettier Maleka, Ratshilumela Dima, David Tshwane, Odireleng Ntwaeaborwa, Rapela Maphanga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cluster expansion, which is a method that describes the concentration-dependent thermodynamic properties of materials while maintaining density functional theory accuracy, was used to predict new (CsPbIxBr1−x) structures. The cluster-expansion method generated 42 new stable (CsPb)xIyBrz (where x = 1 to 3 and y and z = 1 to 8) structures and these were ranked as meta-stable structures based on their enthalpies of formation. Monte Carlo calculations showed that CsPbI0.5Br0.5 composition separates into different phases at 300 K, but changes to a homogeneous phase at 700 K, suggesting that a different phase of CsPbI3 may exist at higher temperatures. Among the 42 predicted structures, randomly selected structures around iodide-rich, 50:50, and bromine-rich sites were studied further by determining their electronic, optical, mechanical, and thermodynamic properties using first-principle density functional theory. The materials possess similar properties as cubic Br-doped CsPbI3 perovskites. The mechanical properties of these compounds revealed that they are ductile in nature and mechanically stable. This work suggests that the introduction of impurities into CsPbI3 perovskite materials, as well as compositional engineering, can alter the electronic and optical properties, making them potential candidates for solar cell applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number92
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • cluster expansion
  • density functional theory
  • electronic properties
  • inorganic perovskites
  • optical properties
  • solar cells
  • thermodynamic properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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