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Low-temperature solution-processed wavelength-tunable perovskites for lasing

Nature Materials volume 13, pages 476480 (2014) | Download Citation


Low-temperature solution-processed materials that show optical gain and can be embedded into a wide range of cavity resonators are attractive for the realization of on-chip coherent light sources. Organic semiconductors and colloidal quantum dots are considered the main candidates for this application. However, stumbling blocks in organic lasing1,2,3,4 include intrinsic losses from bimolecular annihilation and the conflicting requirements of high charge carrier mobility and large stimulated emission; whereas challenges pertaining to Auger losses and charge transport in quantum dots5,6,7 still remain. Herein, we reveal that solution-processed organic–inorganic halide perovskites (CH3NH3PbX3 where X = Cl, Br, I), which demonstrated huge potential in photovoltaics8,9,10,11, also have promising optical gain. Their ultra-stable amplified spontaneous emission at strikingly low thresholds stems from their large absorption coefficients, ultralow bulk defect densities and slow Auger recombination. Straightforward visible spectral tunability (390–790 nm) is demonstrated. Importantly, in view of their balanced ambipolar charge transport characteristics8, these materials may show electrically driven lasing.

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We would like to acknowledge D. Giovanni for the data fitting and C. W. Kiang for the electroluminescence measurement, as well as S. Shuangyong, J. Chua, T. Krishnamoorthy and S. Kulkarni for sample and precursor preparation. Financial support from NTU start-up grants M4080514 and M4081293, SPMS collaborative Research Award M4080536, Ministry of Education AcRF Tier 2 grant MOE2013-T2-1-081 and from the Singapore NRF through the Competitive Research Program (NRF-CRP4-2008-03) and the Singapore-Berkeley Research Initiative for Sustainable Energy (SinBeRISE) CREATE Programme is gratefully acknowledged. M.G. thanks the European Research Council for financial support under the Advanced Research Grant (ARG 247404) ‘Mesolight’.

Author information

Author notes

    • Guichuan Xing
    •  & Nripan Mathews

    These authors contributed equally to this work.


  1. Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 21 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637371, Singapore

    • Guichuan Xing
    • , Swee Sien Lim
    • , Xinfeng Liu
    •  & Tze Chien Sum
  2. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore

    • Nripan Mathews
    • , Natalia Yantara
    • , Dharani Sabba
    •  & Subodh Mhaisalkar
  3. Energy Research Institute @NTU (ERI@N), Research Techno Plaza, X-Frontier Block, Level 5, 50 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637553, Singapore

    • Nripan Mathews
    • , Swee Sien Lim
    • , Natalia Yantara
    • , Dharani Sabba
    • , Michael Grätzel
    •  & Subodh Mhaisalkar
  4. Singapore-Berkeley Research Initiative for Sustainable Energy, 1 Create Way, Singapore 138602, Singapore

    • Nripan Mathews
  5. Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Station 6, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

    • Michael Grätzel


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G.X., N.M. and T.C.S. conceived the idea for the manuscript and designed the experiments. G.X. developed the basic concepts, conducted the spectroscopic characterization and coordinated the experiments. N.M. and D.S. fabricated and characterized the samples. N.Y., X.L., M.G. and S.M. contributed to the data analysis. T.C.S., N.M., G.X., S.M. and S.S.L. analysed the data and wrote the paper. T.C.S. and N.M. led the project.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Nripan Mathews or Tze Chien Sum.

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