Tailored crystals on-demand: gaining a full understanding of the crystallization of low-dimensional hybrid perovskites

Low-dimensional hybrid perovskites are a class of versatile hybrid materials that are highly promising for various optoelectronic applications, including solar cells, photodetectors, light-emitting diodes, and lasers. However, currently, fundamental knowledge of their crystal growth behavior is lacking. This hinders the rational design of this class of materials, such that their crystallization is often based on trial-and-error approaches. With this FWO project, we aim to gain a deep understanding of their crystallization mechanisms, with the goal of achieving full control over their crystal growth.

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Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites have been in the spotlight for the past decade, mainly due to the unprecedented increase in the power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells from 14.1% to 25.7% over this period. Furthermore, HOIPs have proven to be a highly versatile class of materials that have seen significant progress in various optoelectronic applications beyond solar cells, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, and photodetectors. HOIPs can be prepared with their inorganic frameworks spanning the whole range of dimensionalities: 3D, 2D, 1D, and 0D. This results in a class of hybrid materials with highly tunable compositions, structures, and properties. After the rapid ascent of 3D HOIPs in optoelectronics, 2D HOIPs are currently receiving increased research attention due to their significantly enhanced environmental stability and a much higher degree of compositional flexibility than their 3D counterparts. However, limited insights into their crystal growth behavior are currently available.

With this FWO project, we aim to gain a fundamental understanding of the crystal growth of this versatile class of hybrid materials. To achieve this, the project combines the expertise of research groups at Hasselt University (UHasselt), Ghent University (UGent) and the University of Mons (UMons):

  • Prof. dr. Peter Adriaensens is heading the NMR group at UHasselt and focuses on the study of the molecular structure, dynamics, and nanomorphology of innovative (hybrid) material systems for energy generation and storage by means of state-of-the-art liquid-state and solid-state NMR spectroscopy and relaxometry. Prof. dr. Adriaensens acts as the supervisor for UHasselt for this FWO project. He will supervise a PhD student working on material synthesis, exploring novel crystallization methods, and NMR. Dr. Laurence Lutsen (imec) and Dr. Wouter Van Gompel (UHasselt) will act as co-supervisors.

  • Prof. dr. Kristof Van Hecke, who leads the XStruct group at the Chemistry Department at UGent and is an expert in crystallography and crystal growth, is the spokesperson for this FWO project. His activities are highly multidisciplinary and generally combine solid-state chemistry, materials research, and biologically relevant applications. Within this FWO project, Prof. dr. Van Hecke will supervise a PhD student to work on crystal growth, crystal structure determination, and the study of complexes in solution.

  • Prof. dr. David Beljonne is a FNRS research director at the UMons where he co-leads the Laboratory for Chemistry of Novel Materials (CMN) together with Prof. dr. Roberto Lazzaroni. He has made major contributions in the field of molecular modeling as applied to conjugated organic and organic-inorganic hybrid semiconductors. For this project, the CMN group will provide computational support for the experimental results.


dr. Laurence Lutsen

Wouter Maes En Team 008
Agoralaan Gebouw F, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Strategic Research Manager

dr. Lieve De Doncker

dr. Lieve De Doncker
Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Business developer