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In fthe uture, when your mobile or tablet runs out of battery, you could just recharge it by putting it out in the sun.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) researchers have developed a next-generation solar cell material which can also 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 customised to emit different colours.

Picture this: A shopping mall facade could be storing solar energy in the day and transforms into a light display for advertisements that glows at night.

This discovery, published in top academic journal Nature Materials, was discovered almost by chance when NTU physicist Sum Tze Chien, asked his postdoctoral researcher Xing Guichuan to shine a laser on the new hybrid Perovskite solar cell material they are developing.

Assistant Professor Sum said to the team’s surprise, the new Perovskite solar cell glowed brightly when a laser beam was shone on it. This is a significant finding as most solar cell materials are good at absorbing light but are generally not expected to generate light. In fact, this highly luminescent new Perovskite material is also very suitable for the making of lasers.

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