JNCASR discovers material that can transfer infrared light into solar, thermal energy


In a significant development, the scientists of Bengaluru-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have  discovered a novel material ‘single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN)’. ScN can not only emit and detect infrared light with high efficiencies but also modulate it to make it useful for harvesting solar and thermal energy for optical communication devices.

As electromagnetic waves are the renewable energy source for telecommunication, electricity generation, defence, healthcar services and sensors, the scientists manipulate such waves using high-tech methods. The scientists including K. C. Maurya and co-workers have utilised polariton excitations to achieve this feat. By using infrared light they have carefully controlled material properties to achieve strong light-matter interactions in ScN by exciting polaritons (a quasi-particle) which can be utilised for the harvesting of solar and thermal energy.

Dr Bivas Saha, Assistant Professor, JNCASR said that a great demand for infrared sources, sensors and emitters is being observed across electronics-to-healthcare, defense and security-to-energy technologies sectors. The applications of infrared polaritons in scandium nitride will be used in many such devices.

For this study published in scientific journal Nano Letters, the researchers from the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) together with the University of Sydney also collaborated with JNCASR.

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