Photoinduced, reversible phase transitions in all-inorganic perovskite nanocrystals

Matthew S. Kirschner, Benjamin T. Diroll, Peijun Guo, Samantha M. Harvey, Waleed Helweh, Nathan C. Flanders, Alexandra Brumberg, Nicolas E. Watkins, Ariel A. Leonard, Austin M. Evans, Michael R. Wasielewski, William R. Dichtel, Xiaoyi Zhang, Lin X. Chen, Richard D. Schaller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Significant interest exists in lead trihalides that present the perovskite structure owing to their demonstrated potential in photovoltaic, lasing, and display applications. These materials are also notable for their unusual phase behavior often displaying easily accessible phase transitions. In this work, time-resolved X-ray diffraction, performed on perovskite cesium lead bromide nanocrystals, maps the lattice response to controlled excitation fluence. These nanocrystals undergo a reversible, photoinduced orthorhombic-to-cubic phase transition which is discernible at fluences greater than 0.34 mJ cm −2 through the loss of orthorhombic features and shifting of high-symmetry peaks. This transition recovers on the timescale of 510 ± 100 ps. A reversible crystalline-to-amorphous transition, observable through loss of Bragg diffraction intensity, occurs at higher fluences (greater than 2.5 mJ cm −2 ). These results demonstrate that light-driven phase transitions occur in perovskite materials, which will impact optoelectronic applications and enable the manipulation of non-equilibrium phase characteristics of the broad perovskite material class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number504
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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