Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.
- A new use of the familiar mineral perovskite could make the Internet 1,000 faster! Scientists are discovering new characteristics of perovskite due to its ability to house many different cations. What are cations?
- Cations are positively charged ions—particles with more protons than electrons. Their charge is indicated by +: Na+ for a singly charged sodium ion, or Fe2+ for a doubly charged iron ion.
- According to Science, “[t]he perovskite crystal structure can accommodate a wide variety of cations, which allows the development of many materials.” These materials include superconductors, solar cells, and nanoparticles used in television displays. (This month’s Science magazine is all about perovskites.)
- Part of perovskite’s promise lies in its ability to use the terahertz spectrum in transferring data. What is the terahertz spectrum?
- The terahertz spectrum describes radiation in longwave frequencies between 100 and 10,000 gigahertz. This puts it somewhere between infrared and radio waves.
- Why is perovskite’s use of the terahertz spectrum so promising for high-speed communications and computing?
- The bandwidth uses light instead of electricity to transfer data. (!) According to Newsweek, “The system makes use of a simple halogen lamp to modulate the terahertz waves, rather than an expensive, high-powered laser that is usually required to transmit data in this range. The type of light used allows for a new type of structure to be used in transmitting data through a WiFi alternative known as LiFi.”
- In addition, perovskite-coated silicon wafers can respond to different frequencies (colors) of light. According to Forbes, “Hence, not only can they transfer data 1,000 times faster using terahertz waves, they can simultaneously activate multiple data transfers using different colored lamps.”
- The stunning experiment used simple halogen lamps to modulate the terahertz waves. What are halogen lamps?
Science: Natural and engineered perovskites
Nat Geo: What is the mantle?
(extra credit!) Nature Communications: Colour selective control of terahertz radiation using two-dimensional hybrid organic inorganic lead-trihalide perovskites