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Picture of the Day

Enter the chamber

Materials scientists have developed a method to create hybrid thin-film materials that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to make. Perovskites are a class of materials that -- with the right combination of elements -- have a crystalline structure that makes them particularly well-suited for light-based applications. Their ability to absorb light and transfer its energy efficiently makes them a common target for researchers developing new types of solar cells, for example. In the new study, a team of researchers demonstrated a manufacturing approach that can build more complex molecular combinations out of perovskites that have very simple organic components. The technique is called Resonant Infrared Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (RIR-MAPLE). Adapted from a technology invented in 1999 called MAPLE, the technique involves freezing a solution containing the molecular building blocks for a perovskite, and then blasting the frozen block with a laser in a vacuum chamber. The technique could be the gateway to new generations of solar cells, light-emitting diodes and photodetectors.

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