Department of Energy (DoE) funded researchers investigated the electronic properties of 2D hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite sheets, as an alternative to graphene and other materials. The researchers reported that such perovskites could rival graphene in PV applications, since the 2D crystals exhibited efficient photoluminescence, were easier to grow than graphene and it's possible to dope it to make the various varieties of ionic semiconductors needed to beat other 2D materials with tunable electronic/photonic properties.

Scientists created these new forms of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites in atomically thin 2D sheets and first showed how they hold promise as semiconductor materials for photovoltaic applications. Next they showed how they could serve as an alternative to other 2D semiconductors that are widely studied as potential successors to silicon in future electronic devices.

The crystals measured about 10-microns, and as they they relaxed during crystallization, their band gap changed. By controlling the speed of crystallization, the DoE team hopes to harness the changeable band gap property to control the color of emission, detection and other advanced electronic and photonic properties. In addition, since PVs are light sensitive, hybrid 2D perovskites are not only a potential successor to silicon solar cells but could also be used in optoelectronic applications, such as photodetectors, light-emitting diodes and lasers.

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