There is a huge hype on perovskites and more specifically on their applications in solar cell technologies. We now know that perovskites have a lot of unique properties (high-absorption coefficient, long-range ambipolar charge transport, low exciton-binding energy, high dielectric constant, ferroelectric properties (source)) that may deem them interesting for a variety of optoelectronic applications.

My question is how did all of this hype get started?

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting question! They are super toxic and optically, they are good, but not super mind-bendingly good in my opinion. $\endgroup$ – Cody Aldaz Apr 28 '20 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect that there isn't any specific application that made them popular, rather its that perovskites are useful in many different applications? Am also wondering if the tilt of the octahedra might be playing a role in giving perovskites some of their unique properties. $\endgroup$ – nathanielng Apr 29 '20 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ The question is interesting, but I don't know whether it is about Materials Modelling. $\endgroup$ – agaitaarino Apr 30 '20 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @agaitaarino To be fair, my question wasn't either, but like the question above, it was well-received. I suppose that since there are already abundant questions focusing directly on materials modelling, it is nice to have a few outliers every now and then; though not sure if this time period is entirely befitting to allow this given the site's early state of progress. $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie May 5 '20 at 6:40

While I can't speak to the specific interest of solar cells, Perovskite is the primary ore source for Titanium. Owing to the fact that alloys of Titanium played a critical role in modernization of weapons technologies that occurred during the cold war period, there was a LOT of research money into titanium projects during the 1970s to early 1990s. For instance, the hull of the SR-71 blackbird is a special titanium alloy that allows it to fly at MACH 3 and at >100,000 ft (also while its top secret there's some evidence that radar deflecting paints have titanium in them). As such, defense money in the US and former CCCP was pouring into anything even remotely titanium related (analogous to Machine Learning stuff today). I'd imagine once people found out that perovskite was actually decent for the solar cell stuff that created a reinforcing effect, where grant writers and readers both bought into giving money to this subset of solar cell research, as it was established science.

TL;DR: If I was a solar cell research a couple decades ago, I'd write a perovskite related grant to get a lot of money, and everything snowballed from that.


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