10 NOVEMBER 2017 • VOL 358 ISSUE 6364 733
Perovskite is an unremarkable calcium titanium oxide mineral discovered in 1839 with an extremely versatile crystal structure. The compact crystal structure marks the transition to Earth’s lower mantle as silicate perovskite becomes stable. Sili- cate perovskites make up the bulk of the lower mantle and are the most abundant minerals in Earth. The importance of perovskites extends to exoplanets, because silicate perovskites are stable
in the mantle of planets larger than Mars.
The perovskite crystal structure can accommodate
a wide variety of cations, which allows the development
of many materials. The cuprate high-temperature superconductors adopt a structure that can be described as an
oxygen-deficient multilayered perovskite. Organic-inorganic
hybrid perovskite solar cells have power conversion ef-ciencies exceeding 20%. Inorganic perovskite nanoparticles display bright, narrow-band photoluminescence that
is useful in optoelectronics. Further development eforts
will focus on improving material stability.
The tunability of the perovskite structure also makes
these crystals attractive for catalysis and electrocatalysis. In
solid oxide fuel cells, perovskites serve as oxygen ion conductors separating anodes and cathodes. For applications
such as automotive pollution control, perovskite catalysts
based on earth-abundant elements could provide alternatives to existing catalysts based on scarce precious metals.
Methodological developments, including high-pressure
diamond anvil cells and advanced spectroscopic techniques,
help drive our understanding of perovskites. Experimental
breakthroughs are complemented by theoretical approaches
that can now tackle such complex structures. Continued
progress will be spurred by societal needs and aided by
synergy between the diferent subdisciplines that have
investigated this fascinating mineral structure.
By Phillip Szuromi and Brent Grocholski
Perovskite in Earth’s deep
interior p. 734
Promises and challenges of
perovskite solar cells p. 739
Properties and potential
of lead halide perovskite
nanocrystals p. 745
Perovskites in catalysis and
electrocatalysis p. 751
c REPORT P. 768
c REPORT BY Y. HOU ET AL.
Perovskite quantum dots in
solution emit light across the
visible spectrum and could
fnd applications in displays.
Other applications of perovskite
materials in photovoltaics
and catalysis, as well as their
importance in Earth’s mantle,
are highlighted in this issue.