Atomic layer deposition (ALD) enables the deposition of numerous materials in thin film form, yet there are no ALD processes for metal iodides. Herein, we demonstrate an ALD process for PbI2, a metal iodide with a two-dimensional (2D) structure that has applications in areas such as photo-detection and photovoltaics. This process uses lead silylamide Pb(btsa)(2) and SnI4 as precursors and works at temperatures below 90 degrees C, on a variety of starting surfaces and substrates such as polymers, metals, metal sulfides, and oxides. The starting surface defines the crystalline texture and morphology of the PbI2 films. Rough substrates yield porous PbI2 films with randomly oriented 2D layers, whereas smooth substrates yield dense films with 2D layers parallel to the substrate surface. Exposure to light increases conductivity of the ALD PbI2 films which enables their use in photodetectors. The films can be converted into a CH3NH3PbI3 halide perovskite, an important solar cell absorber material. For various applications, ALD offers advantages such as ability to uniformly coat large areas and simple means to control film thickness. We anticipate that the chemistry exploited in the PbI2 ALD process is also applicable for ALD of other metal halides.
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