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  • According to a new SLAC study, atoms in perovskites respond to light with unusual rotational motions and distortions that could explain the high efficiency of these next-generation solar cell materials.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    According to a new SLAC study, atoms in perovskites respond to light with unusual rotational motions and distortions that could explain the high efficiency of these next-generation solar cell materials.
  • Light separates electric charges in a solar cell material by displacing negatively charged electrons. This also creates electron deficiencies, called “electron holes,” with a positive charge. Electrons and holes migrate to opposite sides of the material, generating a voltage for electrical appliances.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Light separates electric charges in a solar cell material by displacing negatively charged electrons. This also creates electron deficiencies, called “electron holes,” with a positive charge. Electrons and holes migrate to opposite sides of the material, generating a voltage for electrical appliances.
  • Illustration of the ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) experiment used to capture the rapid atomic response to light in perovskites. An electron beam (blue) is deflected as it passes through the perovskite sample, generating an intensity or diffraction pattern on a detector that allows the reconstruction of the sample’s atomic structure. By measuring how the pattern changes over time after the sample was hit by a laser pulse (red), researchers can create an ultrafast movie of the atomic response.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Illustration of the ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) experiment used to capture the rapid atomic response to light in perovskites. An electron beam (blue) is deflected as it passes through the perovskite sample, generating an intensity or diffraction pattern on a detector that allows the reconstruction of the sample’s atomic structure. By measuring how the pattern changes over time after the sample was hit by a laser pulse (red), researchers can create an ultrafast movie of the atomic response.
  • At left: The SLAC study looked at atomic motions in a perovskite solar cell material made of lead (black spheres), iodine (purple) and methylammonium (red and blue). The atomic arrangement is typical for all perovskites, named after a naturally occurring mineral of titanium, oxygen and calcium. At right: Scanning electron microscope image of a thin perovskite film used in the study, showing grains of the material with a size of 50 to 100 nanometers.
    Te Hu/Xiaoxi Wu/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    At left: The SLAC study looked at atomic motions in a perovskite solar cell material made of lead (black spheres), iodine (purple) and methylammonium (red and blue). The atomic arrangement is typical for all perovskites, named after a naturally occurring mineral of titanium, oxygen and calcium. At right: Scanning electron microscope image of a thin perovskite film used in the study, showing grains of the material with a size of 50 to 100 nanometers.
  • Iodine atoms, which surround lead atoms in a perovskite solar cell material studied at SLAC, respond to light in a surprising manner: Within 10 trillionths of a second after a light pulse, iodine atoms rotate around every lead atom as if they are moving on the surface of a sphere with the lead atom at the center. These motions could potentially explain the material’s high efficiency in converting light into electricity.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Iodine atoms, which surround lead atoms in a perovskite solar cell material studied at SLAC, respond to light in a surprising manner: Within 10 trillionths of a second after a light pulse, iodine atoms rotate around every lead atom as if they are moving on the surface of a sphere with the lead atom at the center. These motions could potentially explain the material’s high efficiency in converting light into electricity.
  • From left: SLAC researchers Xijie Wang, Aaron Lindenberg and Xiaoxi Wu at the lab’s experimental station for ultrafast electron diffraction (UED).
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    From left: SLAC researchers Xijie Wang, Aaron Lindenberg and Xiaoxi Wu at the lab’s experimental station for ultrafast electron diffraction (UED).




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