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Defect Tolerance: Perfect Imperfection (UCL Research Poster Competition 2021)

Defect Tolerance: Perfect Imperfection (UCL Research Poster Competition 2021)

My entry to the 2021 UCL Research Poster Competition.
YouTube talk here: https://youtu.be/XL17v5YxlKU

If you're interested in this work, please check out our open-access review on perovskite-inspired materials and defect tolerance here:

For other research articles see:

For other talks on YouTube see:

Seán R. Kavanagh

June 22, 2021

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  1. Defect Tolerance:
    Perfect Imperfection
    Even though these atomic ‘mistakes’ may occur only
    once for every billion normal atoms, like DNA, they
    can significantly alter the resulting macroscopic
    Just as a single genetic mutation can change your eye
    colour from brown to blue, a tiny amount of defects
    can kill device performance in a range of important
    technologies, such as solar cells, batteries in electric
    vehicles, pacemakers and iPhones, or even LEDs in
    your TV and phone screens.
    Scan me with your phone camera for
    a 4 minute YouTube talk on this work!
    Or search/click:
    [email protected]
    Prof David Scanlon (Chemistry)
    a. Like genetic mutations in DNA, rare but
    omnipresent ‘imperfections’ in materials can
    cause major overall changes, such as preventing
    the efficient conversion of sunlight to electricity in
    solar cells.
    b. Outline of a typical high-throughput screening
    investigation, with a large input material search
    space assessed using chemical rules and quantum
    mechanical calculations to predict material
    properties and performance. From this, a small
    selection of promising defect-tolerant candidates
    are obtained, for further experimental verification
    and development in low-cost high-efficiency
    Like the rare, random mutations in DNA which
    facilitate evolution, all materials contain faults in the
    arrangement of their atoms, known as ‘defects’.
    These wonder materials could revolutionise the energy sector, making the dream of cheap
    renewable energy a reality.
    In our lab, we use quantum mechanical calculations to understand the atomic properties of
    these materials and their defects, before then leveraging this understanding to search
    unexplored chemical space for materials that fit this criteria.
    Given that there are trillions of compounds and materials yet to be discovered, we are
    hopeful that we will soon find the ‘needle in the haystack’ that exhibits defect tolerance and is
    stable, non-toxic and earth-abundant.
    The future is bright for solar technology!
    Recently, an exciting new class of ‘defect-tolerant’ materials has emerged – which retain high
    device efficiencies despite large concentrations of defects, allowing extremely cheap
    manufacturing costs.
    A missing atom here, an atom in the wrong place there.
    Check out our recent review paper on this topic:
    Huang, Y.-T.; Kavanagh, S. R.; Scanlon, D. O.; Walsh,
    A.; Hoye, R. L. Z. Perovskite-Inspired Materials for
    Photovoltaics and beyond; from Design to Devices.
    Nanotechnology 2021, 32 (13), 132004.

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