Scientists transform algae right into perovskite materials with unique structures

Mar 21, 2023 11:59 AM ET
  • Researchers from Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden), AMOLF, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have transformed single-cell algae into functional perovskite materials.
Scientists transform algae right into perovskite materials with unique structures

The team, led by researchers at the B CUBE-- Center for Molecular Bioengineering at TU Dresden, converted mineral shells of algae right into lead halide perovskites with tunable physical residential properties. The new perovskites have unique nano-architectures that are stated to be unachievable by standard synthetic production.

The method can be related to the automation of perovskites with tunable structural and electro-optical residential or commercial properties from single-celled organisms.

The properties of perovskites can be tuned for particular applications by altering their chemical structure and interior architecture, including the circulation and also orientation of the crystal structure. Presently, the ability to influence these residential or commercial properties is massively restricted by making methods. The team of researchers at TU Dresden was able to develop perovskites with unique nano-architectures and crystal buildings from algae, making use of years of evolution of these single-celled organisms.

The team focused on L. granifera, a type of algae that uses calcite to create shells. Their spherical shells have a unique crystal architecture. The crystals are lined up radially-- i.e., they expanded from the center of the sphere outwards.

"The current production methods of perovskites are not able to generate materials such as this synthetically. We can nonetheless try to transform the existing natural structures into functional materials while keeping their initial architecture", claimed Dr. Igor Zlotnikov, matching author.

To transform the natural mineral shells of algae into functional perovskites, the group substituted chemical components in calcite. To do that, they adjusted a method established by their collaborators at AMOLF institute in Amsterdam. Throughout the improvement, researchers had the ability to produce different types of crystal architectures by altering the chemical make-up of the material. In that way, they could tweak their electro-optical properties.

By converting the calcite shells to lead halides with either iodine, bromide, or chloride, the team might produce functional perovskites that are maximized to emit only red, green, or blue light.

"We reveal for the first time that minerals generated by single-cell organisms can be transformed into highly relevant functional materials. As opposed to taking on nature, we can benefit from the years of evolutionary adaptation they currently underwent", commented Dr. Zlotnikov.

The method created by the group can be scaled up, opening up the possibility for the sector to capitalize on algae and many various other calcite-forming single-celled organisms to generate functional materials with unique forms and also crystallographic residential or commercial properties.

Solar Installers, Manufacturers