Researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), headed by Prof. Susan Schorr and Dr. Joachim Breternitz, have achieved a breakthrough in understanding the crystalline structure of hybrid halide perovskites. The team investigated crystalline samples of methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3), the most prominent representative of this class of materials, at the Diamond Light Source synchrotron (DLS) in the United Kingdom using high-resolution single-crystal diffraction. This approach provided data for a more in-depth analysis of the crystalline structure of this material.
They were also able to clarify, whether ferroelectric effects are possible at all in this hybrid halide perovskite. Ferroelectric domains can have favorable effects in solar cells and increase their efficiency. However, measuring this effect in samples is difficult - a null result can mean that there is either no ferroelectric effect or that the ferroelectric domains cancel one another's effects out.