In the future, the glass that coats our skyscrapers could also serve as the power plant that keeps the lights on. This is not news. However, with an amazing new material being developed in Singapore, that same glass could also turn your city's windows into skyscraper-sized displays.
Researchers from the Nanyang Technological University just announced a new type of solar cell that's not only translucent enough to be used for windows but can also emit light. The press release explains that this versatile new material, called Perovskite, could be used to build a facade that creates electricity during the day and then lights up at night.
The effect need not be so grandiose. The scientists also point out that it can be used for smartphones and tablets, so you could literally just leave your iPhone in the sun to recharge it. Oh, and also, its light-transmitting properties mean that it can also be used to build lasers.
That's not all. It's five times cheaper than existing silicone-based solar cells. Now let's just see if they can actually bring something to market. [NTU]