Tag: Environment

Why Renewable Energy Is Good For Business?

Gone are the days where a focus on renewable energy can be relegated to the “environmentally conscious.”

Now, issues surrounding commercial alternative energy solutions encompass a company’s financial performance as well as its corporate social responsibility.

As a result, an increasing number of organizations are taking a deeper look into the benefits of renewable energy for business.




In October last year, the Energy Collective reported that well-known brands including Apple, Bank of America and General Motors are not only looking to reduce their environmental impact but are actively gaining a competitive edge over other companies by investing in and utilizing renewable energy.

These corporations are leveraging their clean energy usage to bolster their business sustainability strategies and financial success. The article states:

Early adopters are building a critical advantage by being ahead of this market …

And goes on to conclude:

… the buying or selling of renewable power directly to corporations will be a barometer of success for businesses of all types.

Far from being simply a fad, investing in renewable energy is taking the stage like never before. Here’s why businesses are taking the concept of using renewable energy seriously:

  1. Consumers are evaluating and prioritizing companies that are committed to reducing and/or eliminating dependence on fossil fuels.
    The Apple brand isn’t only loved for its great technology. Recently, the company illustrated its dedication to sustainability planning by announcing goals for 100% clean energy reliance
  2. Government regulations will likely soon have an even bigger impact on companies and their energy usages.
    In the US, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan may have a significant role in putting the pressure on businesses for clean energy use.
  3. Companies are seeing the advantage of investing in renewable energy initiatives, and the possibility of financial savings.
    A major player in this effort is the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), which is an organization that helps businesses understand the advantages of moving to renewables, and has over 100 major corporate buyers on its roster.

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Artificial Volcanoes Designed To Reverse Global Warming Could Risk Natural Disasters

Efforts are underway to reverse global warming by mimicking volcanic eruptions but such dramatic interventions should be approached with caution, according to a new study.

When volcanoes erupt they spew sulphate particles into the air, cooling the Earth by creating a shield that reflects sunlight away from its surface.

By emitting similar particles into the stratosphere, some scientists have suggested we could imitate this process and reverse climate change in a process termed solar geoengineering.

But creating artificial volcanic eruptions might be as dangerous as it sounds.




New research published in Nature Communications suggests that while geoengineering may indeed have positive impacts, it could also have catastrophic effects in parts of the world already battered by natural disasters.

The researchers used simulations to examine the effect that geoengineering would have on tropical cyclone frequency in the North Atlantic.

While aerosol injections in the northern hemisphere decreased projected cyclone frequency, when applied in the southern hemisphere they could actually enhance cyclone risk.

To make matters worse, the team’s simulation suggested that the positive effects in the northern hemisphere would be offset by an increase in droughts in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa – an area already ravaged by desertification.

The prospect of geoengineering climates may seem remote, but scientists are already engaged in large-scale projects to investigate its feasibility.

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 sent planet-cooling aerosols into the atmosphere.

One team at Harvard University estimates the whole planet could be solar geoengineered for the “very inexpensive” cost of $10bn.

Dr Jones and his team suggest that while such endeavours might have positive effects they need to be dealt with on an international scale.

If solar geoengineering were ever to occur, it would have to be in a uniform fashion,” he said.

We are extremely concerned that there is no regulation to stop a country doing geoengineering now. This hasn’t been taken seriously by policymakers so far, and that taboo needs to end.

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According To Researchers, Global Carbon Emissions Rising Again After Brief Plateau

For three years in a row, the world’s carbon emissions were virtually stable — holding steady after decades of growth.

But now they’re on the rise again, which is bad news for efforts to fight climate change, according to a team of researchers who have released a new study on the topic.

Seventy-six scientists from around the world contributed to the Global Carbon Project, or GCP, which released its annual “Carbon Budget” yesterday.

The budget estimates that total global carbon emissions from fossil fuels and industrial sources will rise by 2 percent in 2017.

There’s a fair amount of uncertainty in that projection, with possible values from .8 percent to 3 percent — but the researchers are confident it represents an overall rise, fueled in part by changes in the Chinese economy.




The anticipated change is a “big rise,” lead author Corinne Le Quéré tells NPR. “And this is contrary to what is needed in order to tackle climate change.

It’s a shift from the more hopeful findings from the last few years. From 2014 to 2016, according to the GCP analysis, the rate of emissions was basically flat.

Scientists agree that a reduction in carbon emissions is necessary to keep the global warming at 2 degrees Celsius or less, the target established by the global accord on climate change.

That level of climate change is still projected to have a range of damaging effects, including devastation for some island nations — but it will be far from the worse-case scenario projected if emissions continue to rise.

The increase in carbon emissions is not distributed evenly around the world.

The U.S. and the countries of the European Union, which once generated nearly all of the world’s fossil-fuel and industrial carbon emissions, now contribute less than half of the world’s cumulative emissions.

Their contributions are expected to continue to fall in 2017, albeit at a lower rate than they had previously been falling.

Annual Global Fossil Fuel And Cement Emissions
Total global emissions from fossil fuels and cement production (which the Global Climate Project analyzes to quantify industrial carbon output) have been rising, in general, for decades. The pace had slowed to a near standstill over the last three years. This year, however, researchers anticipate a 2 percent rise in the annual release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry.

Emissions from China, India and the rest of the world, however, are projected to show marked increase in 2017.

The result is “an emissions tug-of-war,” as the CICERO Center for International Climate Research put it in a press release.

That makes it hard to tell what’s going to happen next, because the trend is “so fragile,” as Le Quéré told NPR yesterday.

It’s the difference between emissions rising in parts of the world and decreasing in other parts of the world,” she says. Overall? “Frankly, it could really go either way.

And it’s crucial for that upward trend to start moving down, and quickly, she says.

She points to already-evident consequences of global warming: warmer oceans that can fuel more powerful storms and rising sea levels that cause more devastating coastal surge damage.

In order to tackle climate change emissions you have to go down to almost zero” emissions, she says. “The faster we do it, the more we limit the risks from climate change.

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Deepest Dive Ever Under Antarctica Reveals a Shockingly New World

In the morning, when we arrive on foot from Dumont d’Urville, the French scientific base on the Adélie Coast of East Antarctica, we have to break up a thin layer of ice that has formed over the hole we drilled the day before.

The hole goes right through the 10-foot-thick ice floe. It’s just wide enough for a man, and below it lies the sea. We’ve never tried to dive through such a small opening.

Pushing and pulling with hands, knees, heels, and the tips of my swim fins, I shimmy through the hole. As I plunge at last into the icy water, I look back—to a sickening sight. The hole has already begun to close behind me.

The bottom surface of the sea ice is a thick slurry of floating ice crystals, and my descent has set them in motion. They’re converging on the hole as if it were an upside-down drain.

By the time I thrust one arm into the icy mush, it’s three feet thick. Grabbing the safety rope, I pull myself up inch by inch, but my shoulders get stuck.

Suddenly I’m stunned by a sharp blow to the head: Cédric Gentil, one of my dive buddies, is trying to dig me out, and his shovel has struck my skull.

Finallya hand grabs mine and hauls me into the air. Today’s dive is over—but it’s only one of 32.

I’ve come here with another photographer, Vincent Munier, at the invitation of filmmaker Luc Jacquet, who’s working on a sequel to his 2005 triumph, March of the Penguins.

While Jacquet films emperor penguins and Munier photographs them, my team will document life under the sea ice. In the winter the ice reaches 60 miles out to sea here, but we’ve come in October 2015, at the beginning of spring.

For 36 days, as the ice breaks up and retreats to within a few miles of the coast, we’ll dive through it, down as deep as 230 feet.

The preparations for each day’s dive take about as long. Where we can’t slide into holes left by Weddell seals and their busy teeth, we dig our own with an ice-drilling machine.

Seals, when they need air, somehow find their way back to their hole; our greatest dread is getting lost and trapped under the ice.

So we drop a luminescent yellow rope into the hole and pull it along with us during the dive. At the end we follow it back up.

Our suits have four layers: thermal underwear on the inside, followed by an electrically heated bodysuit, a thick fleece, and a half-inch-thick layer of waterproof neoprene.

There’s a hood as well as an underhood, waterproof gloves and heated liners, fins, and 35 pounds of weights.

There are two batteries for the heated bodysuit, a rebreather to remove carbon dioxide from our exhalations, backup gas cylinders, and finally, my photography equipment.

We look like astronauts minus the bubble helmets. Just getting into our suits takes an hour and the help of Emmanuel Blanche, our emergency doctor.

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Scientists Are Delighted To Discover That Eleanor The Sea Turtle Survived Unscathed After Tropical Storm

As seas get warmer, Earth is experiencing more powerful storms and hurricanes.

There are consequences for both humans and animals, and one of the concerns is marine animals – especially endangered species such as certain whales, manatees, sharks and sea turtles.

But new research has revealed that severe weather is not necessarily harmful to individual adult sea turtles – when researchers tracked a sea turtle during a tropical storm, they found that she survived the storm without any problems.

A team of Danish, American and Australian researchers conducted a study in 2012 which involved monitoring sea turtles fitted with GPS transmitters and motion sensors off the coast of Sarasota Florida.




One of the sea turtles, a loggerhead named Eleanor, was unexpectedly caught in a tropical storm, giving the researchers a unique opportunity to see how a sea turtle would cope with a storm.

We were delighted to find that she rode out the storm in style without any problem,” says Maria Wilson, a biologist at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

We know little about how sea turtles manage during hurricanes and tropical storms.

Storms could blow sea turtles off course, or surviving a storm could be so exhausting that it drains energy reserves and thus the ability to survive and produce eggs, thereby having a negative impact on the next generation of sea turtles,” explains Wilson.

A team of Danish, American and Australian researchers conducted a study in 2012 which involved monitoring sea turtles fitted with GPS transmitters and motion sensors off the coast of Sarasota Florida.

One of the sea turtles, named Eleanor, was unexpectedly caught in a tropical storm, giving the researchers a unique opportunity to see how a sea turtle would cope with a storm.

Eleanor was tagged for 16 days, four of which were during the storm, and data from the GPS and animal motion tags showed that she drastically changed behavior when the storm struck.

She was inactive for most of the first 9 days, during which she rested at on the seabed 80 per cent of the time with low levels of oxygen consumption.

Eleanor the sea turtle was caught in tropical storm Debby, which passed through through the Mexican Gulf between June 23 – 27, 2012 and caused extensive flooding in Florida, reaching wind speeds of up to 100 kph.

She was at sea in the Mexican Gulf in the egg-laying season when she was hit by the storm, and consequently, she had already nested on one of Florida’s beaches and had returned to the sea to replenish her energy reserves before coming back to lay more.

Eleanor was tagged for 16 days, four of which were during the storm, and data from the GPS and animal motion tags showed that she drastically changed behavior when the storm struck.

Before the storm, she rested on the seabed, moving only to go to the surface air.

When the storm struck, she moved further North than the researchers expected because she was forced by prevailing currents.

She also changed her diving patterns, becoming much more active instead of saving energy for the next egg-laying event.

Even though Eleanor swam for most of the four days the storm raged, she was good at saving energy, ending up actually using no more than she would normally use to produce 12 eggs,” says Wilson.

Given that sea turtles lay somewhere between 300 and 900 eggs during a nesting season, that’s not much.

The researchers calculated Eleanor’s energy consumption based on motion sensors (3D accelerometers and gyroscopes – a device used to measure orientation), which detected when she was swimming.

How much energy a swimming turtle uses had been determined from earlier experiments in the laboratory, making it possible to estimate how much energy they use at sea.

Even though it may seem that sea turtles are robust enough to avoid being harmed during storms, such a powerful storm can still be a major threat to them.

Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, and their nests are extremely vulnerable to passing storms,” Wilson says.

The storm that Eleanor easily survived destroyed almost 90% of nests on the beach where she and several hundred other female turtles had laid their eggs.”

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Antarctic Ozone Hole Is The Smallest It’s Been Since 1988

The ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest peak since 1988, NASA said Thursday.

The huge hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer reached its maximum this year in September, and this year NASA said it was 19.6 million square kilometres (7.6 million square miles) wide. The hole size shrinks after mid-September.

This year’s maximum hole is more than twice as big as the United States, but it’s 3.4 million square kilometres less than last year and 8.5 million square kilometres smaller than 2015.




Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said stormy conditions in the upper atmosphere warmed the air and kept chemicals chlorine and bromine from eating ozone.

He said scientists haven’t quite figured out why some years are stormier and have smaller ozone holes than others. “It’s really small this year. That’s a good thing,” Newman said.

Newman said this year’s drop is mostly natural but is on top of a trend of smaller steady improvements likely from the banning of ozone-eating chemicals in a 1987 international treaty.

The ozone hole hit its highest in 2000 at 29.86 million square kilometres (11.5 million square miles).

Ozone is a colorless combination of three oxygen atoms. High in the atmosphere, about 11 to 40 kilometres above the Earth, ozone shields Earth from ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

Scientists at the United Nation a few years ago determined that without the 1987 treaty by 2030 there would have been an extra 2 million skin cancer cases.

They said overall the ozone layer is beginning to recover because of the phase-out of chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans.

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Ancient Skull May Be History’s Earliest Known Tsunami Victim

In 1929, an Australian geologist named Paul S. Hossfeld was investigating the northern coast of Papua New Guinea for petroleum.

He found bone fragments embedded in a creek bank about seven miles inland and about 170 feet above sea level.

At first, Dr. Hossfeld believed that the specimen was from the skull of Homo erectus, an extinct relative of modern humans. Later analysis would show it belonged to a modern human who lived about 6,000 years ago.

Now recent research suggests the remains known as the Aitape skull could be something more: the earliest known victim of a tsunami.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One, may offer useful historical context for how ancient humans living along the Pacific Ocean’s coasts faced fierce natural hazards.

Here we start to see human interaction with some nasty earthquakes and tsunamis,” said James Goff, a retired geologist at the University of New South Wales Sydney and author of the study.




Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of a large, bountiful island just north of Australia (the western side is part of Indonesia).

In 1998, after decades of relative geological quiet, a devastating tsunami rocked the country, killing more than 2,000 people.

This huge volume of water struck the coast and swept away everything,” said John Terrell, an anthropologist at the Field Museum in Chicago who has completed research in the country and is a co-author on the paper.

The villages I knew and loved were sheared off.

After struggling for almost two decades to get funding for the project, he returned to the island in 2014 to explore the rain forests and crystal clear creek where Dr. Hossfeld had discovered the skull 85 years earlier.

Dr. Hossfeld had left detailed notes about where he had found the skull, which helped guide Dr. Goff and his team as they collected samples from the same sediment layer at a nearby river-cut cliff.

Back at the lab, they performed geochemical analysis to determine whether the sediment level had been deposited by a tsunami 6,000 years ago.

Because they had previously analyzed geochemical signals from sediment on the island following the 1998 tsunami, the team knew which clues to look for, like grain size and composition.

They found that the sediment collected from the skull site contained fossilized deep sea diatoms. These microscopic organisms were a telltale sign that ocean water had drowned the area at some point.

The researchers also found geochemical signals that matched the signatures they collected in 1998, offering additional evidence that a tsunami had struck around 6,000 years ago.

Bang! Right where the diatoms were looking very sexy and you’re getting excited, you have a signal that says, ‘Hi, I’m seawater,’” said Dr. Goff.

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According To A New Study, Pollution Kills 9 Million People Each Year

Dirty air in India and China. Tainted water in sub-Saharan Africa.

Toxic mining and smelter operations in South America. Pollution around the globe now contributes to an estimated 9 million deaths  annually or roughly one in six according to an in-depth new study published in the Lancet.

If accurate, that means pollution kills three times more people each year than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, with most of those deaths  in poor and developing countries.

Going into this, my colleagues and I knew that pollution killed a lot of people. But we certainly did not have any idea of the total magnitude of the problem,” said Philip Landrigan, dean of global health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and co-chair of the commission behind the report.

I think all of us were really surprised when we saw this.

The two-year project, which relied on data from researchers in more than 130 countries documenting the causes of disease and premature deaths in recent decades, found that poor air quality was the most significant pollution-related killer.




That includes both outdoor pollution tainted by mercury, arsenic and other harmful particulates, and household air dirtied by the burning of wood, dung and other organic materials.

The result: An estimated 6.5 million deaths in 2015 from heart disease, strokes, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.

Water pollution, which includes everything from unsafe sanitation to contaminated drinking water, accounted for an additional 1.8 million annual deaths from gastrointestinal diseases and other infections, researchers found.

Pollution in the workplace also took a heavy toll on some of the world’s poorest workers.

From bladder cancer in dye workers to the lung disease pneumoconiosis in coal miners, researchers found that occupational exposure to various carcinogens and toxins was linked to about 800,000 deaths annually.

In 2015, the largest number of deaths attributable to pollution occurred in India and China, with an estimated 2.5 million and 1.8 million deaths respectively. Other severely affected countries include Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kenya.

Beyond the massive human toll, the authors of Thursday’s report also focused on the financial toll caused by pollution-related health problems.

Until now, people haven’t recognized what an incredible hit pollution makes on the economy of a country,” Landrigan said.

“Pollution control can stimulate the economy because it reduces death and disease.”

They estimated the hit to national budgets at about 1.3 percent of gross domestic product in low-income countries, compared to about 0.5 percent in developed, high-income countries.

In addition, nations facing crippling pollution tend to spend much more on health care to treat diseases related to the problem.

And the warming of the Earth’s climate is likely to fuel more deaths in the absence of international action, she said.

Climate change is going to exacerbate the very problems that are identified in this article. There will be more contagious and infectious diseases.

There will be more lives lost, more injuries, if we don’t identify a path that gets us out of the hole that we’re in,” McCarthy said.

What people don’t realize is the instability that results from poverty, the instability that results from migration as a result of climate change.

The startling conclusion that pollution accounts for 16 percent of deaths worldwide is, of course, an estimate.

But the findings build on previous studies, including a 2016 report from the World Health Organization, detailing the extent to which pollution represents a public health crisis.

If countries do not take actions to make environments where people live and work healthy, millions will continue to become ill and die too young,” then-WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said last year.

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Dirty Birds Show Just How Catastrophic Air Pollution Used To Be

Soot on birds’ bellies tell a story of air pollution more than a century in the making.

Two graduate students at the University of Chicago measured black carbon that clung to birds kept in Rust Belt museum collections and found a striking record of filthy air.

Over the course of 135 years, the dirtiness of the birds’ plumage rose and fell in line with coal legislation and followed social changes such as the switch in residential heating from coal to natural gas.

The soiled bird specimens also suggest that the air above Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit in the 1880s was even sootier than historians realized.

It was clear to museum curators in the industrial Midwest that some bird specimens in their collection drawers were dirtier than others.

Although carbon soot does not easily rub off, the birds left oily black smudges when handled with white gloves, similar to the way newspaper ink stains fingers.




But until this study, no one thought to analyze the soot. (Museum records indicate that a few curators attempted to scrub dead birds clean, to limited success. Cleaned birds were excluded from this research.)

This approach is new and old in the same way,” DuBay said.

Tracking environmental pollutants via natural history museum collections has precedent.

Researchers have measured the thinness of eagle eggshells, DuBay said, as a proxy for exposure to poisons such as DDT.

But what made this study different was that evidence of pollution was not secondhand — the soot itself collected on feathers, as though the songbirds were feather dusters floating above smokestacks.

DuBay and Fuldner studied five species: horned larks, red-headed woodpeckers, field sparrows, grasshopper sparrows and Eastern towhees.

All were housed at the Field Museum in Chicago, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology in Ann Arbor.

Records back to 1880 indicated the time and place the birds were collected.

These birds molt each year, replacing their feathers with a fresh set. That molt essentially wiped out the soot that had accumulated in their plumage.

The dirt on the birds at the time of their death was a snapshot of that year in industrial history, the researchers said.

The researchers met at an exhibition about early wildlife photography that Fuldner curated. They hit it off and began to brainstorm ways to use museum collections.

When it came to the blackened birds, they at first had to rule out whether, perhaps, some of the birds’ pigmentation had darkened in response to industrialization.

In an oft-cited case of evolutionary selection at work, naturalists observed that peppered moths in Britain adapted to have black wings rather than their typical gray, to blend in with soot-darkened trees of the early 1800s.

But birds were not mutants, just dirty. Microscope images revealed globs of carbon stuck to their feathers.

Using a photographic technique, the graduate students measured how poorly the birds’ feathers reflected light — the less relative light a bird reflected, the dirtier it was.

The birds were dirtiest from 1880 until 1929, when the Great Depression hit. Coal consumption plummeted, only to rise again during World War II.

The mid-1940s birds darkened in response. As power plants became more efficient and natural gas supplanted coal in homes, the birds lightened.

A period of legislation — 1955’s Air Pollution Control Act, 1963’s Clean Air Act and 1970’s Clean Air Act extension — held the birds to their cleanest levels.

The birds from the 1980s onward are the least sooty in recent decades.

Relative dirtiness followed trends Bond and her colleagues modeled in a 2007 paper that traced black carbon emissions from 1850 to 2000 using historical records.

One of the shocking findings that we found was what we recover is very similar to these predictive models,” DuBay said. With one exception: The birds were far dirtier from 1880 to the early 1900s than Bond’s carbon emission study would have suggested.

Despite the recently collected birds’ low soot and the blue skies above cities such as Chicago today, the researchers said we’re not in the clear yet.

Although coal is declining in the United States, globally humans are burning more coal than ever.Cities in Asia have particle pollution that the researchers likened to old Rust Belt hubs. DuBay said he has seen birds in Beijing darkened by air pollution.

Cities in Asia have particle pollution that the researchers likened to old Rust Belt hubs. DuBay said he has seen birds in Beijing darkened by air pollution.

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Light Can ‘Heal’ Defects In New Solar Cell Materials

Now, a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere say they have made significant inroads toward understanding a process for improving perovskites’ performance, by modifying the material using intense light.

The new findings are being reported in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper by Samuel Stranks, a researcher at MIT; Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology and associate dean for innovation; and eight colleagues at other institutions in the U.S. and the U.K.

The work is part of a major research effort on perovskite materials being led by Stranks, within MIT’s Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory.

Tiny defects in perovskite’s crystalline structure can hamper the conversion of light into electricity in a solar cell, but “what we’re finding is that there are some defects that can be healed under light,” says Stranks, who is a Marie Curie fellow jointly at MIT and Cambridge University in the U.K.




The tiny defects, called traps, can cause electrons to recombine with atoms before the electrons can reach a place in the crystal where their motion can be harnessed.

This is the first time this has been shown,” Stranks says, “where just under illumination, where no [electric or magnetic] field has been applied, we see this ion migration that helps to clean the film. It reduces the defect density.

While the effect had been observed before, this work is the first to show that the improvement was caused by the ions moving as a result of the illumination.

This work is focused on particular types of the material, known as organic-inorganic metal halide perovskites, which are considered promising for applications including solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, and light detectors.

They excel in a property called the photoluminescence quantum efficiency, which is key to maximizing the efficiency of solar cells.

But in practice, the performance of different batches of these materials, or even different spots on the same film, has been highly variable and unpredictable.

The new work was aimed at figuring out what caused these discrepancies and how to reduce or eliminate them.

Stranks explains that “the ultimate aim is to make defect-free films,” and the resulting improvements in efficiency could also be useful for applications in light emission as well as light capture.

Previous work reducing defects in thin-film perovskite materials has focused on electrical or chemical treatments, but “we find we can do the same with light,” Stranks says.

One advantage of that is that the same technique used to improve the material’s properties can at the same time be used as a sensitive probe to observe and better understand the behavior of these promising materials.

Another advantage of this light-based processing is it doesn’t require anything to come in physical contact with the film being treated — for example, there is no need to attach electrical contacts or to bathe the material in a chemical solution.

Instead, the treatment can simply be applied by turning on the source of illumination. The process, which they call photo-induced cleaning, could be “a way forward” for the development of useful perovskite-based devices, Stranks says.

The effects of the illumination tend to diminish over time, Stranks says, so “the challenge now is to maintain the effect” long enough to make it practical.

Some forms of perovskites are already “looking to be commercialized by next year,” he says, and this research “raises questions that need to be addressed, but it also shows there are ways to address” the phenomena that have been limiting this material’s performance.

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