Ink painting that can only be seen when it lands on canvas: This may sound mysterious, but it is “just” a new technology from materials science that may have a major impact on the next generation of solar cells and LEDs.
AMOLF researchers Lukas Helmbrecht and Wim Noorduin have developed a reactive ink that – in conjunction with the correct substrate – becomes a semiconductor that emits colored light. The ink itself does not emit light, neither the background nor both have no color, but if they are in contact with each other then they interact with each other, then you get colored light in the correct setting.
Why is this an improvement over what was already there? It’s all about making perovskite, which is an important promising material for this new generation of solar cells and LED lights. With older technologies, you needed several coats of different types of perovskites to get the colors right for your phone screen, for example. With this new technology, you only need one coat that can take care of all of those colors, and it is also much easier to apply. So less material and less effort.