Understanding and controlling charge and energy flow in state-of-the-art semiconductor quantum wells has enabled high-efficiency optoelectronic devices. Two-dimensional (2D) Ruddlesden-Popper perovskites are solution-processed quantum wells wherein the band gap can be tuned by varying the perovskite-layer thickness, which modulates the effective electron-hole confinement. We report that, counterintuitive to classical quantum-confined systems where photogenerated electrons and holes are strongly bound by Coulomb interactions or excitons, the photophysics of thin films made of Ruddlesden-Popper perovskites with a thickness exceeding two perovskite-crystal units (>1.3 nanometers) is dominated by lower-energy states associated with the local intrinsic electronic structure of the edges of the perovskite layers. These states provide a direct pathway for dissociating excitons into longer-lived free carriers that substantially improve the performance of optoelectronic devices.
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