With environmentally-friendly options becoming more and more popular as time goes on, it is no surprise that many scientists are looking deeper into simpler and cheaper manufacturing methods for various eco-friendly systems.
One discovery that has scientist excited, but a little perplexed, when it comes to LED lighting and solar cells is perovskite.
The most common material that solar panels are made of is crystalline silicon, however the process is both lengthy and costly to attain effective energy conversion. This is because the material needs to be very ordered, as well as completed in a cleanroom (due to the material being very sensitive to contaminants).
Perovskite materials, on the other hand, do not require the 'ordered' approach - in comparison, the more 'messy' they are, the more effective they are. And this definitely surprised scientists! Perovskite materials, which have become an up-and-coming alternative to crystalline silicon over the last 10 years or so, are made up of lead salts which are a lot cheaper to produce and easier to obtain. Additionally, the ingredients used to make the perovskite can be altered to give it varying colours and structural properties ie. making the films emit different colours or collect sunlight more efficiently.
But, what does this is all mean? According to scientists at the University of Cambridge, perovskite materials can change the entire industry when it comes to semiconductors. Only very thin lawyers of perovskite materials are needed to achieve the same result as silicon wafers - think one thousand times thinner than a human hair - and show high efficiency levels emissions when they excited by energy sources. This results in the expectation that both LED and solar cells will only get more efficient, which has huge benefits to a range of industries.
We highly recommend keeping an eye out for perovskite materials in the future - they have huge potential for great things when it comes to LED lights and solar cells.