Twisting under the stroboscope — Controlling crystal lattices of hybrid solar cell materials with terahertz light

To overcome global energy challenges and fight the looming environmental crisis, researchers around the world investigate new materials for converting sunlight into electricity. Some of the most promising candidates for high-efficiency low-cost solar cell applications are based on lead halide perovskite (LHP) semiconductors. Despite record-breaking solar cell prototypes, the microscopic origin of the surprisingly excellent optoelectronic performance of this material class is still not completely understood. Now, an international team of physicists and chemists has demonstrated laser-driven control of fundamental motions of the LHP atomic lattice.