Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) might just have discovered the way to keep everyone, who owns a smart phone that runs out of battery super fast, super happy. Their latest development is a new type of silicon-based solar cell, which can be used as a monitor or a smart phone display.
Probably by now quite a number of people are becoming skeptical when they read such sort of news. It is true that improvements in solar cells happen literally every day, but not many of the latest technologies actually reach the market. The new product developed by a team of NTU researchers, however, has the full potential to be implemented in upcoming electronic gadgets very soon. To start with, the findings were published in Nature Materials, meaning that the method the team used to make this product is flawless, but what is more, it proposes a mean to solve a huge problem of any smart phone user- that of having to look for a place to plug their device for charging after only a few hours of use.
So, the product is essentially a new and improved silicon-based solar cell. It is made of a special type of Perovskite material, which the team was developing in their lab. When they send a laser beam through it, they discovered that it is highly luminescent, and very durable. It can not only capture the light and convert it into electricity, but it can also do the opposite.
Because it is perfect in emitting light, the new type of solar cells is extremely suitable to be used in monitors or displays, but at the same time it would function as any other solar cell in capturing light from the sun. The material used to make the cells is very cheap, making it perfect for using on green buildings, smart phones, advertising panels and pretty much any electronic, light emitting device that uses up power and is exposed to sunlight.
Imagine how great it would be to have our phone right next to us on a sunny table, get all the messages we need, check emails as often as we wish, and do all these things that drain the life out of the battery, then leave it in the sun and let the solar cells on the display do their magic. Will the product hit the market? Remains to be seen.
Image (c) NTU