Indian researchers discover new material that converts infrared light into renewable energy

Researchers from Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research have discovered a new material that turns infrared light into renewable energy. The new material discovered by the Indian researchers is called ‘single-crystalline scandium nitride’, and it is capable of converting infrared light into renewable energy. 

Although we can feel the heat from infrared radiation, it is invisible to human eyes.  Those types of radiation are used in movies to allow humans to see in the dark. Now, Indian scientists have converted the radiation to renewable energy for future use. 

The new material, which is called ScN, is able to emit, detect, and modulate infrared light, making it useful for “solar and thermal energy harvesting and for optical communications devices,” the government press release said. To achieve the target in science, the researchers used polariton excitations- a scientific phenomenon while they were conducting the experiment. 

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Our work on infrared polaritons in scandium nitride will enable its applications in many such devices,” said Dr Bivas Saha, Assistant Professor at JNCASR, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology.

Some of the researchers from the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the University of Sydney also joined the research work by Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre scientists. Later the study was published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.