Press Release

HKBU physicist unveil the atomic-scale secret in frontier semiconductors


Perovskite is a disruptive semiconductor technology that is rapidly emerging in the recent years. Different from those conventional semiconductors that have to be fabricated via high-temperature, high vacuum processes, perovskite can be easily made into thin films using solution printing, like newspaper. It can not only be used for versatile energy devices such as solar cells and LEDs but also demonstrate high potential for the development of new chip technologies. Recently the performance of perovskite semiconductor has climbed impressively, but people have little information on their atomic-scale structures and how they are related to the performance. This creates a barrier for realizing the full potential of this new-generation semiconductor technology.

To address the above outstanding science problem, Dr. Alvin Yuanyuan Zhou, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, led an international collaborative team to use scanning transmission electron microscopy to resolve the atomic-scale structures of three prototypical intragrain interfaces in perovskite semiconductor devices. Based on the observation in conjunction with correlated theoretical understandings, the team shows that these interfaces are statically benign but dynamically detrimental to the device performance, providing useful fundamental knowledge for guiding accurate design of material structures to achieve or even break the performance limit of perovskite semiconductors. This work is now published in the latest issue of Journal of the American Chemical Society(Impact Factor: 15.42). Other coauthors are from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA; Hong Kong Polytechnic University; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA; University of Oxford, UK, and so on. 

This work is a reflection of Dr. Zhou’s research group’s effort innovating semiconductor technologies via high-throughput, high-resolution & transdisciplinary approaches. Find more information in the website of Dr. Zhou’s research laboratory (ΣLab:


[1]    S. Cai#,*, J. Dai#, Z. Shao, M.U. Rothmann, Y. Jia, C. Gao, M. Hao, S. Pang, P. Wang, S.P. Lau, K. Zhu, J.J. Berry, L.M. Herz, X.C. Zeng*, Y. Zhou*. Atomically Resolved Electrically Active Intragrain Interfaces in Perovskite Semiconductors. J. Am. Chem. Soc (2022)