Congratulations to Hiroyuki Takenaka and Tyler J. Smart for their work with Xiangfeng Duan’s group at UCLA on “Photocarrier-induced persistent structural polarization in soft-lattice lead halide perovskites”, published in Nature Nanotechnology! Link to the published article.
Abstract: The success of the lead halide perovskites in diverse optoelectronics has motivated considerable interest in their fundamental photocarrier dynamics. Here we report the discovery of photocarrier-induced persistent structural polarization and local ferroelectricity in lead halide perovskites. Photoconductance studies of thin-film single-crystal CsPbBr3 at 10 K reveal long-lasting persistent photoconductance with an ultralong photocarrier lifetime beyond 106 s. X-ray diffraction studies reveal that photocarrier-induced structural polarization is present up to a critical freezing temperature. Photocapacitance studies at cryogenic temperatures further demonstrate a systematic local phase transition from linear dielectric to paraelectric and relaxor ferroelectric under increasing illumination. Our theoretical investigations highlight the critical role of photocarrier–phonon coupling and large polaron formation in driving the local relaxor ferroelectric phase transition. Our findings show that this photocarrier-induced persistent structural polarization enables the formation of ferroelectric nanodomains at low temperature, which suppress carrier recombination and offer the possibility of exploring intriguing carrier–phonon interplay and the rich polaron photophysics.