Nanoseminar dr. Akshay Rao

Speaker: dr. Akshay Rao (Harding Lectureship in Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge,

Title: Watching the nanoscale transport of charges, excitons and ions in real time and real space.

Abstract: The world's transitions to a more sustainable energy economy is underpinned by the rapid development and deployment of renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics and batteries. The performance of these devices in turn is underpinned by the dynamics and transport of particles and quasi-particles such as electrons and holes, excitons and ions within the active materials that comprise these devices. Understanding how transport occurs in these often disorder materials is a major scientific question. Understanding these process can provide us both fundamental insights but also holds the promise to improve device performance far able current levels. In this talk I will introduce some of our recent work using time-resolved optical microscopy to elucidate transport dynamics across a range of length and timescales, from the sub-10fs ballistic proportion of electron wave functions in photovoltaics, to the operando tracking of ion dynamics in battery electrodes. These methods provide a previously inaccessible window into the functioning of these material and devices and may help us to dramatically improve their performance.

[1] “Long-Range Wavelike Propagation of Carriers in Methylammonium Lead Iodide Perovskites Thin Films”, Nature Physics, 16, 171–176, (2020), DOI:, Full Text.
[2] “Operando optical tracking of single-particle ion dynamics and phase transitions in battery electrodes”,  Nature (2021, In press), Preprint: arXiv:2011.10537



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