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  1. Abstract

    While grain boundaries (GBs) in conventional inorganic semiconductors are frequently considered as detrimental for photogenerated carrier transport, their exact role remains obscure for the emerging hybrid perovskite semiconductors. A primary challenge for GB-property investigations is that experimentally they need to be performed at the top surface, which is not only insensitive to depth-dependent inhomogeneities but also could be susceptible to topographic artifacts. Accordingly, we have developed a unique approach based on tomographic atomic force microscopy, achieving a fully-3D, photogenerated carrier transport map at the nanoscale in hybrid perovskites. This reveals GBs serving as highly interconnected conducting channels for carrier transport. We have further discovered the coexistence of two GB types in hybrid perovskites, one exhibiting enhanced carrier mobilities, while the other is insipid. Our approach reveals otherwise inaccessible buried features and previously unresolved conduction pathways, crucial for optimizing hybrid perovskites for various optoelectronic applications including solar cells and photodetectors.

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