Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 8, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

Ferroelectricity-free lead halide perovskites

Author affiliations


Direct piezoelectric force microscopy (DPFM) is employed to examine whether or not lead halide perovskites exhibit ferroelectricity. Compared to conventional piezoelectric force microscopy, DPFM is a novel technique capable of measuring piezoelectricity directly. This fact is fundamental to be able to examine the existence of ferroelectricity in lead halide perovskites, an issue that has been under debate for several years. DPFM is used to detect the current signals, i.e. changes in the charge distribution under the influence of the scan direction and applied force of the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip in contact mode. For comparison, (i) we use DPFM on lead halide perovskites and well-known ferroelectric materials (i.e. periodically poled lithium niobate and lead zirconate titanate); and (ii) we conduct parallel experiments on MAPbI3 films of different grain sizes, film thicknesses, substrates, and textures using DPFM as well as piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) and electrostatic force microscopy (EFM). In contrast to previous work that claimed there were ferroelectric domains in MAPbI3 perovskite films, our work shows that the studied perovskite films Cs0.05(FA0.83MA0.17)0.95Pb(I0.83Br0.17)3 and MAPbI3 are ferroelectricity-free. The observed current profiles of lead halide perovskites possibly originate from ion migration that happens under an applied electrical bias and in strained samples under mechanical stress. This work provides a deeper understanding of the fundamental physical properties of the organic–inorganic lead halide perovskites and solves a longstanding dispute about their non-ferroelectric character: an issue of high relevance for optoelectronic and photovoltaic applications.

Graphical abstract: Ferroelectricity-free lead halide perovskites

Back to tab navigation

Associated articles

Supplementary files

Article information

18 Mar 2019
21 Jun 2019
First published
21 Jun 2019

This article is Open Access

Energy Environ. Sci., 2019,12, 2537-2547
Article type

Ferroelectricity-free lead halide perovskites

A. Gómez, Q. Wang, A. R. Goñi, M. Campoy-Quiles and A. Abate, Energy Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 2537
DOI: 10.1039/C9EE00884E

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Social activity

Search articles by author