Visualization of dynamic polaronic strain fields in hybrid lead halide perovskites

Burak Guzelturk, Thomas Winkler, Tim W.J. Van de Goor, Matthew D. Smith, Sean A. Bourelle, Sascha Feldmann, Mariano Trigo, Samuel W. Teitelbaum, Hans Georg Steinrück, Gilberto A. de la Pena, Roberto Alonso-Mori, Diling Zhu, Takahiro Sato, Hemamala I. Karunadasa, Michael F. Toney, Felix Deschler, Aaron M. Lindenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Excitation localization involving dynamic nanoscale distortions is a central aspect of photocatalysis1, quantum materials2 and molecular optoelectronics3. Experimental characterization of such distortions requires techniques sensitive to the formation of point-defect-like local structural rearrangements in real time. Here, we visualize excitation-induced strain fields in a prototypical member of the lead halide perovskites4 via femtosecond resolution diffuse X-ray scattering measurements. This enables momentum-resolved phonon spectroscopy of the locally distorted structure and reveals radially expanding nanometre-scale strain fields associated with the formation and relaxation of polarons in photoexcited perovskites. Quantitative estimates of the magnitude and shape of this polaronic distortion are obtained, providing direct insights into the dynamic structural distortions that occur in these materials5–9. Optical pump–probe reflection spectroscopy corroborates these results and shows how these large polaronic distortions transiently modify the carrier effective mass, providing a unified picture of the coupled structural and electronic dynamics that underlie the optoelectronic functionality of the hybrid perovskites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-623
Number of pages6
JournalNature materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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