Nano-Earthquakes Boost Performance of Electronic Devices

smart phone camera photo

In a study that opens the door for a new era of highly efficient solar cells and smart windows, researchers at RMIT University in Australia used sound waves to change the electronic properties of 2D materials. The work published last week in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.

The team controlled the direction and intensity of surface acoustic waves on material that is just a few atoms thick, which caused a change in its electronic properties. As the surface acoustic waves changed, the variation in electronic properties of the 2D materials followed the same pattern. One of the researchers, Dr. Amgad Rezk said they found that “the ‘nano-earthquake’-like waves under the surface of the 2D materials drag electrons along their path, thereby tuning the amount of light emitted by the material.” Most importantly, “the acoustic wave based tunability did not result in any structural or compositional change in the material.” The finding have implications for electronics and optoelectronic devices made from 2D materials, such as solar cells, mobile phone cameras, and smart windows.

Source: RMIT | Photo by Joseph.Morris