Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2021

We’ve all been there; Watching in slow motion as our phones come crashing down to the floor. Bending down filled with dread to see the possible damage to our screens and another potential hole in our wallets. Thanks to new breakthrough research out of the University of Queensland, this experience may soon be a thing of the past!

The material they have constructed is made from nanocrystals called lead-halide perovskites. Screens made from this are unbreakable, able to deliver high quality images, and also low cost. Not only this, but the nanocrystals may also have applications in renewable energy, such as solar panels and LED lights, due to their ability to capture light in an energy efficient way. Scientists working on this project believe these perks give this nanocrystal polymer the advantage over other solutions for more durable screens.

Chemical engineers and material scientists still have to tweak this next generation material until it can go anywhere near our phones. The researchers must decrease its sensitivity to light, heat, air, and water, otherwise the device it’s covering would die in a matter of minutes. To achieve this, their idea is to stabilize the material by combining it with a porous layer of glass, amplifying efficiency and decreasing toxicity.

The findings, published in Science, are an exciting stride for nanotechnology and making everyday materials more robust. Less broken devices also mean less electronic waste filling up our landfills. Researchers have confirmed the technology is realistically scaleable and the group is seeking industrial collaborators.

Source study: ScienceLiquid-phase sintering of lead halide perovskites and metal-organic framework glasses

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