Recently, 2018 “Top 10 Science and Technology Advances in Chinese Universities” organized and appraised by the Science and Technology Committee of the Ministry of Education was finally announced. The research achievement titled “the world's first metal-free perovskite ferroelectric” made by the team of Professor Xiong Ren’gen from Southeast University (the backbone member: Professor You Yumeng) was successfully selected.
Perovskite material has always been deemed as an important area of material research. In addition to the inorganic perovskite and the organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites that have been discovered, another major member of the family, the metal-free perovskite (organic perovskite), is the “Holy Grail” that scientists have always been dreaming of because it highlights no metal toxicity, low cost, good flexibility, easy film formation, chemical cutting and introduction of optical activity, etc.. The “Research Highlight” column of “Science” magazine also predicted the attractive prospects of metal-free perovskites in 2002.
The Key Laboratory of Molecular Ferroelectric Science and Application of Southeast University started from the structure-function relationship of materials and integrated the chirality, excellent ferroelectricity and multipolar axis characteristics into the three-dimensional perovskite structure to successfully assemble 19 high-temperature ferroelectrics. This symbolizes the long-awaited world's first metal-free perovskite ferroelectrics came into being in China, and its excellent ferroelectricity is comparable to the inorganic perovskite BaTiO3. More importantly, the first discovery of chiral enantiomers of ferroelectrics is a major advance in the field of ferroelectrics, which has perfectly fulfilled the long-term expectations of optically active perovskite material. Relevant achievement was published on “Science” in the form of long text on July 13, 2018, whichwas highly concerned and appraised. It was not only introduced by “editors’ choice” of “Science”, but highly reported by “Nature Reviews Materials”, the news website and top periodical as hosted by American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society and British Physical Society. All of these mark that China’s original molecular ferroelectric research has been once again listed in the forefront of the world.