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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Forming a more perfect union: optimizing organic to inorganic perovskite ratios through microscopy

In a recent study published in Science, researchers found that rubidium and potassium phase-segregate in highly concentrated clusters.

Scientific Achievement

The degree of alkali metal concentration was found to control beneficial halide homogenization within perovskite solar cells.

Significance and Impact

The nanostructural and nanochemical origins of performance enhancement were directly observed with electron and nanoscale x-ray microscopy - creating potentially novel strategies for energy harvesting.

Research Details

  • Perovskite thin film solar cells were prepared with varying amounts of lead halide precursors – excess, sufficient, deficient, in order to optimize performance through carrier lifetime
  • Performance enhancement was understood by a direct observation of halide distribution using nanoscale x-ray fluorescence, structure using scanning x-ray diffraction, and local recombination using x-ray / electron beam induced current 

Work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Advanced Photon Source.


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About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.osti​.gov/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​-​a​t​-​a​-​G​lance.

About the Advanced Photon Source
This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.