Gemstones’ Electric Charge!
Researchers have developed a crystalline material that becomes flexible when energized, and is also capable of independently generating an electric current from pressure..
To create it, a team from Nanyang Technological University changed the chemical structure of a hybrid ferroelectric compound C6H5N (CH3) 3CdCl3 and replaced some chlorine atoms in its composition with bromine. These manipulations increased the flexibility of the material and weakened molecular bonds at certain points in the structure..
The resulting crystal simultaneously exhibits electrostrictive and piezoelectric properties, that is, it can change shape under the influence of current and produce electric charges upon deformation. The combination of these two qualities results in its high energy efficiency compared to other existing piezoelectric and electrostrictive materials..
Experiments showed that when an electric field is applied, a new hybrid can be stretched up to 22% or 44 times more than conventional piezoelectrics. This feature greatly expands the scope of its potential applications in electronics, actuators and sensors..
According to the team, making such a crystal does not require powerful lasers and energetic exposure, but only requires a solution-based treatment during the liquid evaporation process. In the future, scientists plan to improve its characteristics by further optimizing the chemical composition..
Earlier we also reported the discovery of a unique material that has high electrical conductivity, like a metal, but is superhard and can withstand enormous pressure, like a diamond..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Nanyang Technological University