Inorganic Chalcogenide Perovskite Thin Films for Optoelectronic Applications

Interdisciplinary Areas: Others

Project Description

While organic-inorganic halide perovskites have achieved remarkable success in solar cells and other semiconductor devices, they face substantial challenges due to their lack of stability and the use of toxic Pb. This has led to a search for related materials that can retain the excellent optoelectronic properties of the lead halide perovskites but bypasses these limitations and to an interest in the family of inorganic chalcogenide perovskites (ICPs). So far, remarkable stability has been observed for the ICPs. Moreover, as the most studied ICP, BaZrS3 is composed entirely of earth-abundant and non-toxic elements. However, much more work is needed to study the optoelectronic properties of these materials experimentally, and so far, this work has been limited due to the extreme conditions (temperatures around 1000 °C) that were conventionally needed to synthesize ICPs. The major focus of the Agrawal-Bart collaboration so far has been to develop moderate-temperature, solution-based synthesis methods for ICPs. Focusing on BaZrS3 and BaHfS3, this effort led to publication in JACS and Angewandte Chemie where solution-deposition and sulfurization below 600 °C successfully produced these materials.

Going forward, research is needed to improve solution-based deposition of ICP thin films, further our understanding of ICP optoelectronic properties, and develop ICP-based semiconductor devices. The postdoctoral fellow working on this project will (1) design, synthesize, and characterize molecular precursors inks and improve the facile synthesis of ICP materials, (2) apply advanced semiconductor characterization techniques to understand ICP defects and optoelectronic properties, and (3) develop methods to fabricate solution processed ICP semiconductor devices that take advantage of the measured ICP properties (solar cells, light emitting diodes, etc.). Success in this project will further our understanding of ICP materials as a stable, earth-abundant, and non-toxic alternative to organic-inorganic halide perovskites and enable ICP-based semiconductor devices.

Start Date

January 1, 2024

Postdoc Qualifications

Candidates should hold a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, or similar. Additionally, they should have significant experience in at least one (preferably two) of the following three areas:
1. Solution-based synthesis of inorganic materials
2. Defect and optoelectronic characterization of semiconductors
3. Solar cell or other optoelectronic device fabrication
Candidates should also have a proven ability to take ownership of a research project and work as part of a team in a collaborative research lab. A track record with laboratory safety and publishing is also desired.



1. Rakesh Agrawal, Davidson School of Chemical Engineering,, Group URL:

2. Suzanne Bart, Chemistry,, Group URL:


Short Bibliography

A. A. Pradhan, M. C. Uible, S. Agarwal, J. W. Turnley, S. Khandelwal, J. M. Peterson, D. D. Blach, R. N. Swope, L. Huang, S. C. Bart, R. Agrawal. Synthesis of BaZrS3 and BaHfS3 Chalcogenide Perovskite Films Using Single-Phase Molecular Precursors at Moderate Temperatures. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2023) doi: 10.1002/anie.202301049

K. C. Vincent, S. Agarwal, J. W. Turnley, R. Agrawal. Liquid Flux-Assisted Mechanism for Modest Temperature Synthesis of Large-Grain BaZrS3 and BaHfS3 Chalcogenide Perovskites. Adv. Energy Sustainability Res. (2023) doi: 10.1002/aesr.202300010

J. W. Turnley, K. C. Vincent, A. A. Pradhan, I. Panicker, R. Swope, M. C. Uible, S. C. Bart, R. Agrawal. Solution Deposition for Chalcogenide Perovskites: A Low-Temperature Route to BaMS3 Materials (M = Ti, Zr, Hf). J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2022) doi: 10.1021/jacs.2c06985

X. Zhao, S. D. Deshmukh, D. J. Rokke, G. Zhang, Z. Wu, J. T. Miller, R. Agrawal, Investigating Chemistry of Metal Dissolution in Amine–Thiol Mixtures and Exploiting It toward Benign Ink Formulation for Metal Chalcogenide Thin Films, Chem. Mater. (2019). doi: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b01566