From sea urchin skeleton to solar cell

Researchers at #AMOLF have found a way of making #calciumcarbonate structures suitable for use in electronics. They do this by modifying the composition of the material so that it becomes a #semiconductor without losing its shape. This could lead to more efficient and stable #solarcells. 
By using white oval shell of a #cuttlefish or a sea #urchin skeleton, The experiment involves no more than dripping two liquids over the calcium carbonate structure. The conversion is complete within a couple of minutes. If you shine a #UV lamp on the structure, you can see the conversion taking place in front of your eyes: The sea urchin skeleton, which initially appears blue under the lamp, changes into a bright green structure with each drop.
#Noorduin converts calcium carbonate structures such as a sea urchin skeleton into perovskite, a highly promising novel material for solar cells. Calcium carbonate is highly abundant on Earth, and can be found in chalk mines and animal skeletons. Solar cells produced from the semiconductor #perovskite are more efficient and cheaper than traditional silicon solar cells. They are also the subject of increasing amounts of research. By converting a predetermined structure of calcium carbonate into the functional perovskite, we now have control over both the shape and function of the material See more


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