Article last updated on: Nov 30, 2020

Perovskites are materials that share a crystal structure similar to the mineral called perovskite, which consists of calcium titanium oxide (CaTiO3).

Depending on which atoms/molecules are used in the structure, perovskites can possess an impressive array of interesting properties including superconductivity, ferroelectricity, charge ordering, spin dependent transport and much more. Perovskites therefore hold exciting opportunities for physicists, chemists and material scientists.

Perovskite sensor types image

Sensors are devices that detect events that occur in the physical environment (like light, heat, motion, moisture, pressure, and more), and respond with an output, usually an electrical, mechanical or optical signal. The household mercury thermometer is a simple example of a sensor - it detects temperature and reacts with a measurable expansion of liquid. Sensors are everywhere - they can be found in everyday applications like touch-sensitive elevator buttons and lamp dimmer surfaces that respond to touch, but there are also many kinds of sensors that go unnoticed by most - like sensors that are used in medicine, robotics, aerospace and more.

Traditional kinds of sensors include temperature, pressure (thermistors, thermocouples, and more), moisture, flow (electromagnetic, positional displacement and more), movement and proximity (capacitive, photoelectric, ultrasonic and more), though innumerable other versions exist. sensors are divided into two groups: active and passive sensors. Active sensors (such as photoconductive cells or light detection sensors) require a power supply while passive ones (radiometers, film photography) do not.

Perovskite materials’ host of exciting properties, such as being rather tolerant to defects (unlike metal chalcogenides) and not requiring surface passivation to retain high quantum yields, make them especially suited for sensing applications. The sensitivity, selectivity, and stability of many perovskite nanomaterials has directed many researchers to devote the most attention to chemical sensors, but perovskites are suitable for other types as well. Perovskites are being studied by numerous research groups for use in various types of sensors.

The latest Perovskite sensor news:

Perovskite-based sensors can help detect harmful pesticides and toxins

Various dangerous chemicals are currently used for agriculture and industry, including fumigants like methyl iodide, which is used to control insects and fungi. The wrong amounts or incorrect use of these fumigants can be harmful to people and degrade the ozone layer. As it’s invisible and doesn’t smell, it’s hard to tell whether there are dangerous amounts of methyl iodide present, and until now the best way to test for it was in a laboratory using expensive, complicated equipment, which isn’t practical in many real-world settings. Some cheaper, lightweight detection methods have been tried, but they didn’t have enough sensitivity and took too long to deliver results.

Perovsite aid in detecting chemical warfare agents and pesticides image

Now, a research team led by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, along with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and the Department of Defense, has found a perovskite-based way to detect methyl iodide, with the accuracy, flexibility and speed necessary for practical use. This new sensing mechanism is also versatile enough for use in detecting a wide range of fumigants and chemical warfare agents.

Researchers design novel X-ray photodetectors based on perovskites on top of graphene

A team of scientists, led by László Forró from the School of Basic Sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, has developed a new X-Ray Photodetector based on perovskites and graphene.

Using 3D aerosol jet-printing technology, the team designed a new technique for creating highly efficient x-ray photodetectors that can be easily added to standard microelectronic circuits, creating more powerful medical imaging devices that can deliver better scan qualities.

Researchers show lead-free quadruple perovskite nanocrystals' potential for photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications

A research group, led by Prof. HAN Keli from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently revealed the luminescence enhancement mechanism of a series of new lead-free quadruple halide perovskite nanocrystals, and prepared high-performance photodetectors.

The researchers reported a series of quadruple perovskite colloidal nanocrystals with ordered vacancies. By alloying Cs4MnBi2Cl12 nanocrystals, the fluorescence quantum yield could be increased by nearly 100 times.

EPFL team develops perovskite material that can detect gamma rays

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), assisted by teams at Croatia's University of Split, have developed a perovskite that can detect gamma rays.

The “oriented crystal‐crystal growth” (OC2G) method of large MAPbBr3 crystals imageThe “oriented crystal‐crystal growth” (OC2G) method of large MAPbBr3 crystals . a) Growing of large crystals by the suspended seed crystal; b,c) The consecutive steps of fusing together individual single crystals into a large crystal. Image by EPFL

"This photovoltaic perovskite crystal, grown in this kilogram size, is a game changer," says EPFL's Professors Lászlo Forró. "You can slice it into wafers, like silicon, for optoelectronic applications, and, in this paper, we demonstrate its utility in gamma-ray detection."

Perovskite-based optical sensor mimics the human eye

Researchers at Oregon State University have reported recent advances with a new type of perovskite-based optical sensor that more closely mimics the human eye’s ability to perceive changes in its visual field. The sensor could be highly beneficial for fields like image recognition, robotics and artificial intelligence.

The team explained that previous attempts to build a human-eye type of device, called a retinomorphic sensor, have relied on software or complex hardware. However, the new sensor’s operation is part of its fundamental design, using ultrathin layers of perovskite semiconductors that change from strong electrical insulators to strong conductors when placed in light.