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Large electrostrictive response in lead halide perovskites

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 12 October 2018

This article has been updated


Lead halide perovskites have demonstrated outstanding performance in photovoltaics, photodetectors, radiation detectors and light-emitting diodes. However, the electromechanical properties, which are the main application of inorganic perovskites, have rarely been explored for lead halide perovskites. Here, we report the discovery of a large electrostrictive response in methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) single crystals. Under an electric field of 3.7 V µm−1, MAPbI3 shows a large compressive strain of 1%, corresponding to a mechanical energy density of 0.74 J cm3, comparable to that of human muscles. The influences of piezoelectricity, thermal expansion, intrinsic electrostrictive effect, Maxwell stress, ferroelectricity, local polar fluctuation and methylammonium cation ordering on this electromechanical response are excluded. We speculate, using density functional theory, that electrostriction of MAPbI3 probably originates from lattice deformation due to formation of additional defects under applied bias. The discovery of large electrostriction in lead iodide perovskites may lead to new potential applications in actuators, sonar and micro-electromechanical systems and aid the understanding of other field-dependent material properties.

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Fig. 1: Electrostrictive response of MAPbI3 single crystal.
Fig. 2: Macroscopic measurement of electrostrictive response for MAPbI3 single crystal.
Fig. 3: Stability and response timescale of electrostriction.

Data availability

The authors declare that all relevant data supporting the findings of this study are available within the paper and its Supplementary Information.

Change history

  • 12 October 2018

    In the version of this Article originally published, the y axis of Fig. 1c was incorrectly labelled ‘S (%)’; it should have been ‘–S (%)’. Also, the link for the Supplementary Video was missing from the online version of the Article. These errors have now been corrected.


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This work is financially supported by the Office of Naval Research under award N00014-17-1-2727, the Department of Energy (DOE) under award DE-EE0006709 and the National Science Foundation (NSF) under awards DMR-1505535 and DMR-1420645. E.M. and F.D.A. acknowledge the project PERSEO—‘Perovskite-based Solar cells: towards high Efficiency and long-term stability’ (Bando PRIN 2015—Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research (MIUR) Decreto Direttoriale 4 November 2015 no. 2488, project no. 20155LECAJ) for funding.

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Authors and Affiliations



J.H., B.C. and Q.D. conceived the idea. B.C. designed the experiments. T.L. and A.G. conducted the AFM measurements. Q.D., Z.C. and Y.L. grew the single crystal. E.M. and F.D.A. conducted the computational simulations. J.S. and S.D. performed Mach–Zehnder interferometer measurements. Y.D. carried out the XRD measurement. B.C., F.D.A. and J.H. wrote the paper, and all authors reviewed the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Filippo De Angelis or Jinsong Huang.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Sections 1–11, Supplementary Figures 1–16, Supplementary Tables 1–3 and Supplementary References 1–14

Supplementary Video 1

Electrostrictive response of MAPbI3 single crystal under alternative bias on and bias off through lateral electrode on the top surface.

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Chen, B., Li, T., Dong, Q. et al. Large electrostrictive response in lead halide perovskites. Nature Mater 17, 1020–1026 (2018).

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