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 cm−3, 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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The authors declare that all relevant data supporting the findings of this study are available within the paper and its Supplementary Information.
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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.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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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). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0170-x
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