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Bengaluru researchers discover material that converts infrared light into renewable energy

Indian scientists discovered a material that converts infrared light into sustainable energy.

According to a news release on July 5, scientists at Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have discovered a novel material termed ‘single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN)’ that can transform infrared light into sustainable energy.

Infrared radiation is invisible to human beings but feels it as heat. The radiation is used by those snazzy night vision goggles you see in movies to let people see in the dark. And now, according to experts, such light may be transformed into renewable energy.

ScN is a novel material with infrared emission, detection, and modulation capabilities making it useful for ‘solar and thermal energy harvesting and for optical communications devices’, the government press release said.

‘K. C. Maurya and co-workers have utilized a scientific phenomenon called polariton excitations that occur in tailored materials when light couples with either the collective free electron oscillations or polar lattice vibrations to achieve this feat. They have carefully controlled material properties to excite polaritons (a quasi-particle) and achieve strong light-matter interactions in single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN) using infrared light’, the release further said.

In order to accomplish this, the researchers used a scientific phenomenon known as ‘polariton excitations’. This study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Nano Letters, also included researchers from the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the University of Sydney.


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