June 26, 2014

Light in, light out: the ‘rock’ that breaks the rules

Perovskite materials are the newest contender for breaking the silicon ceiling in solar cell technology. But they don’t just absorb light. Cambridge researchers have found they emit it like a laser, opening up an entirely new field of applications.

Discovered 175 years ago in Russia’s mineral treasure box – the Ural Mountains – and named after the mineralogist Count Lev Aleksevich von Perovski, perovskite is fast becoming a ‘rock’ to be reckoned with. In 2013, the use of perovskite materials in solar cells was voted as one of the breakthroughs of the year by Science magazine; more recently, the Guardian website declared that they “are the clean tech material development to watch right now.”