An ambitious European project is aiming to combine a photovoltaic solar cell with a low power LiFi light-based communications system for wearable designs and LED lighting panels all using the same low cost, flexible perovskite semiconductor materials.
The €5.6m PeroCUBE project will use perokskite materials to produce both the flexible PV solar cell and flexible high speed LEDs and sensors for the LiFi in a wearable gadget such as wristband. The project will also produce large LED lighting panels that incorporate the LiFi sensors to communicate with the wristband.
14 European partners from industry and science in ten countries will work on the technology for the next 42 months developing the devices and a roll-to-roll manufacturing process for high volume production for the panels.
Organic-inorganic metal halide perovskite semiconductors are already used for low cost, flexible solar cells and are increasing in efficiency all the time. These are already in pilot production with Oxford PV in Germany, and the lab at the University of Oxford where the technology was developed is part of the project.
PeroCUBE takes perovskite technology several steps forward by using the same materials for large panel LED arrays for lighting and for the next generation of LiFi and Visual Light Communication (VLC) standards and devices that carry data over light from LEDs. This links into the development of human centric lighting (HCL) that adjusts to the requirements of the people in the room as well as data transmission, wearables and applications in the Internet of Things (IoT).
"PeroCUBE will provide proof that the specific class of perovskite materials can actually be used in commercial objects such as light panels and wearables," said Dr. Sylvain Nicolay of CSEM in Switzerland which is coordinating the project and working on the development of the perovskite photovoltaic cells.