New material can both absorb and emit light

Nanyang Technological University scientists have developed a next-generation solar cell material that can emit light, in addition to converting light to electricity. This solar cell is developed from Perovskite, a promising material that could hold the key to creating high-efficiency, inexpensive solar cells. The new cells not only glow when electricity passes through them, but they can also be customized to emit different colors.

What if all it took to charge a mobile phone was setting it out in the sun? That’s the promise of a new type of solar cell that can both absorb and emit light, opening up the possibility of using it as a display. The Nanyang Technological University research team behind the solar cell, which recently published its results in Nature Materials, said the cells could also be used to create tinted glass windows that double as lights and displays. “Since we are already working on the scaling up of these materials for large-scale solar cells, it is pretty straightforward to modify the procedures to fabricate light emitting devices as well,” NTU materials science and engineering assistant professor Nripan Mathews said in a release. ”The fact that it can also emit light makes it useful as light decorations or displays for the facades of shopping malls and offices.”

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