Rivas, Babayigit, Conings, Schwarz, Sturm, Garzón Manjón, Cojocaru-Mirédin, Gault, Renner (2020) Cryo-focused ion beam preparation of perovskite based solar cells for atom probe tomography PloS one 15(1) e0227920


Focused-ion beam lift-out and annular milling is the most common method used for obtaining site specific specimens for atom probe tomography (APT) experiments and transmission electron microscopy. However, one of the main limitations of this technique comes from the structural damage as well as chemical degradation caused by the beam of high-energy ions. These aspects are especially critical in highly-sensitive specimens. In this regard, ion beam milling under cryogenic conditions has been an established technique for damage mitigation. Here, we implement a cryo-focused ion beam approach to prepare specimens for APT measurements from a quadruple cation perovskite-based solar cell device with 19.7% efficiency. As opposed to room temperature FIB milling we found that cryo-milling considerably improved APT results in terms of yield and composition measurement, i.e. halide loss, both related to less defects within the APT specimen. Based on our approach we discuss the prospects of reliable atom probe measurements of perovskite based solar cell materials. An insight into the field evaporation behavior of the organic-inorganic molecules that compose the perovskite material is also given with the aim of expanding the applicability of APT experiments towards nano-characterization of complex organo-metal materials.