According to findings of a new study, a material suitable for use in technologies such as solar power is self-healing. This elevates the possibility to create self-healing materials of high-performance, which could reduce costs and enhance the probability of scalability, say researchers at the University of York behind the findings.
The substance is called antimony selenide. In terms of its properties, material absorbs solar radiation that can be used to convert light energy into electricity.
In fact, the process by which the semi-conducting material self-heals is similar to how a salamander re-grows limbs when it is cut off. Precisely, antimony selenide repairs broken bonds that are formed when it gets divided due to damage.
Interestingly, this ability is unusual in materials as it is in animals, and it has important implications for their applications in photochemistry and optoelectronics.
Research discusses possibility to improve physical properties of antimony selenide-like materials
Meanwhile, the paper demonstrates how a number of semiconducting material usually result in poor performance. In addition, the possibility to treat another semiconductor material called CdTe to fix the problem. And, antimony selenide and materials closely related to it, are able to readily heal broken bonds. They do so at surfaces through structural reconstructions, thereby doing away with the difficult electronic states of these materials.
Furthermore, semiconductors such as antimony selenide that are covalently bonded find widespread applications. This includes applications in photovoltaics, photochemistry, and optoelectronics. For example, these materials are used for lighting and display components and solar panels.
The paper on the finding of self-healing property of the material is published in Advanced Electronic Materials.