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A Photovoltaic Revolution from the Crystal Chemistry and Dynamics of Perovskite Halides

James Neilson (Colorado State University)

Hybrid inorganic-organic halide perovskite crystals, such as CH3NH3PbI3, have garnered significant attention from their use as the light-absorbing semiconductor layer in low-cost photovoltaic devices with high power conversion efficiencies (>20%). The performance of these materials challenges conventional wisdom in that these materials exhibit excellent electrical performance despite the inexpensive, low-temperature, solution-based preparatory routes that result in imperfect materials with small grain sizes. Therefore, we have focused on (a) understanding the fundamental origins of defect tolerance and (b) establishing a relationship between molecular and lattice dynamics and the functional electronic properties. We leverage synchrotron x-ray and neutron scattering and spectroscopy to understand the structure−dynamics-property relationships in these functional perovskite halides that have the potential for transformative applications in photovoltaics.

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