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CH3NH3PbI3 perovskites: Ferroelasticity revealed



Evgheni Strelcov, Qingfeng Dong, Tao Li, Jungseok Chae, Yuchuan Shao, Yehao Deng, Alexei Gruveman, Jinsong Huang, Andrea Centrone


Ferrolectricity has been proposed as a plausible meachanism to explain the high photovoltaic conversion efficiency in organic-inorganic perovskites; however, convincing experimental evidence in support to this hypothesis is still missing. Identifying and distinguishing ferroelectricity from other properties such as piezoelectricity, ferroelasticity etc. is typically non trivial because these properties can be concomitant in many materials. In this work, a combination of nanoscale and microscopic techniques provides solid evidence for the presence of ferroelastic domains in both CH3NH3PbI3 polycrystalline films and single crystals in the pristine state and under applied stress. Experiments show that the configuration of CH3NH3PbI3 ferroelastic domains in single crystals and polycrystalline films can be controlled with applied stress suggesting that strain engineering may be used to tune the properties of these materials. No evidence of concomitant ferroelectricity was observed. Because grain boundaries have an impact on the long term stability of organic-inorganic perovskites devices, which is currently insufficient to expect their widespread adoption, future research should address whether ferroelcstic domain boundaries are beneficial or detrimental to the perovskite stability.
Science Advances


Organic-inorganic perovskites, ferroelasticity, ferroelectricity, PFM, PTIR


Strelcov, E. , Dong, Q. , Li, T. , Chae, J. , Shao, Y. , Deng, Y. , Gruveman, A. , Huang, J. and Centrone, A. (2017), CH3NH3PbI3 perovskites: Ferroelasticity revealed, Science Advances, [online],, (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created April 13, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021