Rapid advances in perovskite photovoltaics have produced efficient solar cells, with stability and duration improving thanks to variations in materials composition, including the use of layered 2D perovskites. A major reason for the success of perovskite photovoltaics is the presence of free carriers as majority optical excitations in 3D materials at room temperature. On the other hand, the current understanding is that in 2D perovskites or at cryogenic temperatures insulating bound excitons form, which need to be split in solar cells and are not beneficial to photoconversion. Here, a tandem spectroscopy technique that combines ultrafast photoluminescence and differential transmission is applied to demonstrate a plasma of unbound charge carriers in chemical equilibrium with a minority phase of light-emitting excitons, even in 2D perovskites and at cryogenic temperatures. The underlying photophysics is interpreted as formation of large polarons, charge carriers coupled to lattice deformations, in place of excitons. A conductive polaron plasma foresees novel mechanisms for LEDs and lasers, as well as a prominent role for 2D perovskites in photovoltaics.
- 2D perovskites
- hybrid perovskites
- ultrafast spectroscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics