Perovskite Solar Panels Turn to Displays at Night
Kyle Maxey posted on March 27, 2014 |
A chance discovery could produce solar panels that generate electricity during the day & transfo...

perocskite, electronics, display, solar, energy, mineralIn a recent paper published in Nature Materials, researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technical University (NTU) outlined how a common mineral can function as a solar cell during the day and a full-color display at night.

According to reports, a NTU team lead by Assistant Professor Sum Tze Chien stumbled upon their discovery while developing a hybrid perovskite solar cell.

During routine experiments, Chien instructed post-doc researcher Xing Guichuan to lase their new perovskite solar cell in an attempt to gather data. To the physicists’ surprise, the perovskite cell reacted to the laser beam by emitting light, a property uncommon among solar cell materials best known for their powers of absorption.

 “What we have discovered is that because it is a high quality material, and very durable under light exposure, it can capture light particles and convert them to electricity, or vice versa,” said Chien. What’s more, with a bit of tuning the perovskite can produce a full range of electrically generated hues. “By tuning the composition of the material, we can make it emit a wide range of colours, which also makes it suitable as a light emitting device, such as flat screen displays.”

While perovskite’s electrical and techicolor properties are sufficient enough to make it a wonder, the material has the added value of being easy to produce and therefore inexpensive. In fact, according to Nanyang researchers, perovskite solar cells would be five-times cheaper to produce than current silicon-based technology and could be scaled to industrial production quickly.

Given those facts, perovskite-based products could proliferate society in the relatively near term. After all, imagine a future where solar windows transform into displays as evening sets, and where cellphones charge when left out in the sun. Now imagine that happening within the next few decades.

Image Courtesy of Nanyang Technical University

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