Scientists at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have uncovered a crystalline material that changes shape in response to light.
Perovskite crystals have garnered attention for their efficiency to harvest energy from sunlight. And now adding up to this existing ability, the latest findings reveal that the crystalline material also holds a quality known as photostriction.
Photostriction means the capacity of certain materials to undergo a change in internal strain, and therefore shape, with exposure to light.
The researchers studied the photostriction of a perovskite called MAPbBr3. In order to study the material's photostriction capabilities, the team used Raman spectroscopy that analysed molecular vibrations within the structure on comimg in contact with light.
Tzu-Chiao Wei, a researcher at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology stated, “We demonstrated that in situ Raman spectroscopy with confocal microscopy is a powerful characterization tool for conveniently measuring intrinsic photoinduced lattice deformation. The same approach could be applied to measure photostriction in other materials.”
The research that was published in the journal Advanced Materials, determined that the perovskite’s photostriction was partly due to the photovoltaic effect, the effect that makes it so crucial to solar panels.