Harvesting environmental energy to generate electricity is a key scientific and technological endeavour of our time. Photovoltaic conversion and electromechanical transduction are two common energy-harvesting mechanisms based on, respectively, semiconducting junctions and piezoelectric insulators.
However, the different material families on which these transduction phenomena are based complicate their integration into single devices.
Here we demonstrate that halide perovskites, a family of highly efficient photovoltaic materials1,2,3, display a photoflexoelectric effect whereby, under a combination of illumination and oscillation driven by a piezoelectric actuator, they generate orders of magnitude higher flexoelectricity than in the dark. We also show that photoflexoelectricity is not exclusive to halides but a general property of semiconductors that potentially enables simultaneous electromechanical and photovoltaic transduction and harvesting in unison from multiple energy inputs.
Photoflexoelectric effect in halide perovskites
Longlong Shu, Shanming Ke, Linfeng Fei, Wenbin Huang, Zhiguo Wang, Jinhui Gong, Xiaoning Jiang, Li Wang, Fei Li, Shuijin Lei, Zhenggang Rao, Yangbo Zhou, Ren-Kui Zheng, Xi Yao, Yu Wang, Massimiliano Stengel & Gustau Catalan. Nature Materials (2020).