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      Atomistic origins of high-performance in hybrid halide perovskite solar cells

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          Abstract

          The performance of organometallic perovskite solar cells has rapidly surpassed that of both conventional dye-sensitised and organic photovoltaics. High power conversion efficiency can be realised in both mesoporous and thin-film device architectures. We address the origin of this success in the context of the materials chemistry and physics of the bulk perovskite as described by electronic structure calculations. In addition to the basic optoelectronic properties essential for an efficient photovoltaic device (spectrally suitable band gap, high optical absorption, low carrier effective masses), the materials are structurally and compositionally flexible. As we show, hybrid perovskites exhibit spontaneous electric polarisation; we also suggest ways in which this can be tuned through judicious choice of the organic cation. The presence of ferroelectric domains will result in internal junctions that may aid separation of photoexcited electron and hole pairs, and reduction of recombination through segregation of charge carriers. The combination of high dielectric constant and low effective mass promotes both Wannier-Mott exciton separation and effective ionisation of donor and acceptor defects. The photoferroic effect could be exploited in nanostructured films to generate a higher open circuit voltage and may contribute to the current-voltage hysteresis observed in perovskite solar cells.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Rapid planetesimal formation in turbulent circumstellar discs

          The initial stages of planet formation in circumstellar gas discs proceed via dust grains that collide and build up larger and larger bodies (Safronov 1969). How this process continues from metre-sized boulders to kilometre-scale planetesimals is a major unsolved problem (Dominik et al. 2007): boulders stick together poorly (Benz 2000), and spiral into the protostar in a few hundred orbits due to a head wind from the slower rotating gas (Weidenschilling 1977). Gravitational collapse of the solid component has been suggested to overcome this barrier (Safronov 1969, Goldreich & Ward 1973, Youdin & Shu 2002). Even low levels of turbulence, however, inhibit sedimentation of solids to a sufficiently dense midplane layer (Weidenschilling & Cuzzi 1993, Dominik et al. 2007), but turbulence must be present to explain observed gas accretion in protostellar discs (Hartmann 1998). Here we report the discovery of efficient gravitational collapse of boulders in locally overdense regions in the midplane. The boulders concentrate initially in transient high pressures in the turbulent gas (Johansen, Klahr, & Henning 2006), and these concentrations are augmented a further order of magnitude by a streaming instability (Youdin & Goodman 2005, Johansen, Henning, & Klahr 2006, Johansen & Youdin 2007) driven by the relative flow of gas and solids. We find that gravitationally bound clusters form with masses comparable to dwarf planets and containing a distribution of boulder sizes. Gravitational collapse happens much faster than radial drift, offering a possible path to planetesimal formation in accreting circumstellar discs.
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            The Dicke Quantum Phase Transition with a Superfluid Gas in an Optical Cavity

            A phase transition describes the sudden change of state in a physical system, such as the transition between a fluid and a solid. Quantum gases provide the opportunity to establish a direct link between experiment and generic models which capture the underlying physics. A fundamental concept to describe the collective matter-light interaction is the Dicke model which has been predicted to show an intriguing quantum phase transition. Here we realize the Dicke quantum phase transition in an open system formed by a Bose-Einstein condensate coupled to an optical cavity, and observe the emergence of a self-organized supersolid phase. The phase transition is driven by infinitely long-ranged interactions between the condensed atoms. These are induced by two-photon processes involving the cavity mode and a pump field. We show that the phase transition is described by the Dicke Hamiltonian, including counter-rotating coupling terms, and that the supersolid phase is associated with a spontaneously broken spatial symmetry. The boundary of the phase transition is mapped out in quantitative agreement with the Dicke model. The work opens the field of quantum gases with long-ranged interactions, and provides access to novel quantum phases.
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              Restoring the density-gradient expansion for exchange in solids and surfaces

              Successful modern generalized gradient approximations (GGA's) are biased toward atomic energies. Restoration of the first-principles gradient expansion for exchange over a wide range of density gradients eliminates this bias. We introduce PBEsol, a revised Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof GGA that improves equilibrium properties of densely-packed solids and their surfaces.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1021/nl500390f
                1402.4980

                Condensed matter, Nanophysics

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