A team of researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have looked at ways of using sound waves to create ‘nano-earthquakes’ to change the electronic properties of 2D materials.
The scientists discovered that controlled sound waves can send ripples across 2D materials, similar to ripples created on the surface of water. Against a photoluminescent 2D material, the technique involved carrying electrons across the surface causing the emission of more light as the ‘nano-earthquake’ intensified. “Sound waves can be likened to ripples created on the surface of water, but where we can control the direction and intensity of these ripples,” said RMIT researcher Dr Surmeet Walia.
The findings has important implications for electronics devices such as improving the cameras on modern models of mobile phones that perform poorly in low light. Besides the potential of capturing a great selfie at night, the research may also open the door to a new era of highly efficient solar cells and smart windows potentially providing the ability to save costs for heating, air-conditioning and lighting in the future.