Megan Cassingham was, well, starstruck when she came across this crystal cluster in one of her vials. The cluster grew over the course of a week out of a solution of lead iodide and an organic molecule. Cassingham, a graduate student working in Brent Melot’s and Mark Thompson’s labs at the University of Southern California, researches hybrid materials like this one that are similar to perovskites, a class of materials that have impressive electronic properties. But by using a larger organic molecule than is commonly found in perovskite hybrids, Cassingham disrupted the crystalline structure typically found in perovskites. She aims to take advantage of this altered structure to create materials that have more-tunable electronic properties.
Submitted by Megan Cassingham and Allen Shariaty
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