The Journey Behind The Discovery Of The Material
Conductive materials are used in common electronic devices like smartphones and solar cells. However, these conductors contain Indium, which is increasingly expensive. To create a low-cost conductive material, the researchers at the University of Minnesota grew a thin film using barium, oxygen, and a unique chemical precursor of tin. The advantage of replacing Indium with these elements, is that they are far cheaper and increase the film’s ability to chemically react too.
We were quite surprised at how well this unconventional approach worked the very first time we used the tin chemical precursor
Those were the words said by Abhinav Prakash, first author of the study at the University of Minnesota.
Applications of the new material
There are quite a number of important applications for this new material and it might shape the future of the electronics industry. Solar power is an increasingly sought out power resource. But at the same time, it is expensive to use. Roping in this new material will cut down the costs to implement solar panels and will increase their efficiency too.
More efficient and less expensive solar cells could prove as a strong competition to the overly used fossil fuels. Doing so, the earth’s natural resources can be conserved, thereby saving the environmental destruction.
Apart from solar power, the new material can be put to an abundant use with the personal electronic devices. Laptops, smartphones and other devices use conductive elements and replacing them with the new one could prove very efficient, in terms of cost and power consumption.
Owing to its high conductivity, it can one day be used to to build smaller, faster, more powerful devices.