New Material Can Turn Infrared Light Into Electricity

Indian scientists have found a way of harnessing the power of infrared rays and generating electricity from it.

Some scientists at Bengaluru's Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have discovered a new material called "single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN)", which is capable of using infrared radiation to generate electricity. Infrared radiation is light that is not visible to human eyes but is present in the sunlight. A government press release states ScN, is able to emit, detect, and modulate infrared light, making it useful for "solar and thermal energy harvesting and for optical communications devices."

"From electronics-to-healthcare, defence and security-to-energy technologies, there is a great demand for infrared sources, emitters, and sensors. Our work on infrared polaritons in scandium nitride will enable its applications in many such devices," said Dr Bivas Saha, Assistant Professor at JNCASR, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology.


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