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HomeDigit NewsIn Russia, a transparent electrode was invented to create smart windows

In Russia, a transparent electrode was invented to create smart windows

Russian researchers from the laboratory of the Institute of Automation and Control Processes, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have invented transparent electrodes using a compound of germanium and calcium. The development can be used in the production of photodetectors and coatings for smart windows, as well as for the creation of fiber-optic communication lines.

Transparent electrodeManufacturing and testing of transparent electrodes from calcium digermanide layers

Technically, such electrodes consist of calcium digermanide, as well as a calcium and germanium compound. Unlike similar transparent compounds, they conduct electricity better and become transparent in a wide range of electromagnetic waves.

To increase the transparency of the material, the researchers used a laser to create a “checkered” pattern of square holes on its surface. The authors managed to increase the transparency of the electrode to 90% without losing its electrical characteristics. It eventually became transparent in the range of light wavelengths from 400 to 7000 nanometers. 

After integrating a germanium-based photodetector into the prototype, scientists were able to not only expand the spectral range of the device, but also make it 85% more sensitive compared to commercial analogues, allowing them to improve the operation of fiber-optic communication systems. The authors of the study even received a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) for this work.

The technology can be used to create optical transparent coatings capable of conducting electric current. With its help, manufacturers will be able to create smart windows that are not subject to fogging and icing. In addition, the development will increase the energy efficiency of buildings where such windows are used. 

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