Researchers from Finland have shown that the perovskite KBNNO is able to turn sunlight, heat and movement into electricity - which could be useful for many energy sources and electronics, providing that work to make it more efficient is successful.

Various other minerals in the perovskite family have previously shown promise for generating different types of energy, but never at the same time like KBNNO. In this study, the researchers from the University of Oulu ran experiments using KBNNO that showed it was reasonably good at generating electricity from pressure and heat – but not as good as other perovskites. However, they showed KBNNO could be modified to amplify these properties.

This is the reason that the researchers say KBNNO "may be considered a proper and capable candidate to trigger developments of all-in-one hybrid energy harvesting and multi-functional sensing devices based on only a single piece of material".

The team is now trying to create a prototype energy harnessing device – which they believe should be ready next year. If successful, they say it could be commercially available in just a few years. "This will push the development of the Internet of Things and smart cities, where power-consuming sensors and devices can be energy sustainable," they said.