Scientists create smart windows that actually generate electricity

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“Researchers at Berkeley Lab, a Department of Energy (DOE) national lab, discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research currently due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly switched between a transparent state and a non-transparent state, without degrading its electronic properties. The scientists made the discovery while investigating the phase transition of the material, an inorganic perovskite. “This class of inorganic halide perovskite has amazing phase transition chemistry,” said Yang, who is also a professor in UC Berkeley’s departments of Chemistry, and Materials Science and Engineering. “It can essentially change from one crystal structure to another when we slightly change the temperature or introduce a little water vapor.””

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