Crovetto, A.; Hempel, H.; Rusu, M.; Choubrac, L.; Kojda, D.; Habicht, K.; Unold, T.: Water Adsorption Enhances Electrical Conductivity in Transparent P-Type CuI. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 12 (2020), p. 48741-48747
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CuI has been recently rediscovered as a p-type transparent conductor with a high figure of merit. Even though many metal iodides are hygroscopic, the effect of moisture on the electrical properties of CuI has not been clarified. In this work, we observe a 2-fold increase in the conductivity of CuI after exposure to ambient humidity for 5 h, followed by slight long-term degradation. Simultaneously, the work function of CuI decreases by almost 1 eV, which can explain the large spread in the previously reported work function values. The conductivity increase is partially reversible and is maximized at intermediate humidity levels. On the basis of the large intragrain mobility measured by THz spectroscopy, we suggest that hydration of grain boundaries may be beneficial for the overall hole mobility.