Light-activated interlayer contraction in two-dimensional perovskites for high-efficiency solar cells

Wenbin Li, Siraj Sidhik, Boubacar Traore, Reza Asadpour, Jin Hou, Hao Zhang, Austin Fehr, Joseph Essman, Yafei Wang, Justin M. Hoffman, Ioannis Spanopoulos, Jared J. Crochet, Esther Tsai, Joseph Strzalka, Claudine Katan, Muhammad A. Alam, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Jacky Even, Jean Christophe Blancon*, Aditya D. Mohite*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Understanding and tailoring the physical behaviour of halide perovskites under practical environments is critical for designing efficient and durable optoelectronic devices. Here, we report that continuous light illumination leads to >1% contraction in the out-of-plane direction in two-dimensional hybrid perovskites, which is reversible and strongly dependent on the specific superlattice packing. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements show that constant light illumination results in the accumulation of positive charges in the terminal iodine atoms, thereby enhancing the bonding character of inter-slab I–I interactions across the organic barrier and activating out-of-plane contraction. Correlated charge transport, structural and photovoltaic measurements confirm that the onset of the light-induced contraction is synchronized to a threefold increase in carrier mobility and conductivity, which is consistent with an increase in the electronic band dispersion predicted by first-principles calculations. Flux-dependent space-charge-limited current measurement reveals that light-induced interlayer contraction activates interlayer charge transport. The enhanced charge transport boosts the photovoltaic efficiency of two-dimensional perovskite solar cells up to 18.3% by increasing the device’s fill factor and open-circuit voltage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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