Single-crystalline scandium nitride ScN

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    In News

    • Recently, researchers at Bengaluru’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have discovered a new material called single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN) that can convert infrared light into renewable energy.

    About Single-crystalline scandium nitride (ScN)

    • Utility: 
      • ScN can emit, detect, and modulate infrared light with high efficiency making it useful for solar and thermal energy harvesting and for optical communication devices.
      • Gallium nitride (GaN): belonging to the same family of materials as gallium nitride (GaN), scandium nitride is compatible with modern complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or Si-chip technology and, therefore, could be easily integrated for on-chip optical communication devices.
    • Methodology
      • Scientists use high-tech methods to manipulate such waves precisely in dimensions that are thousands of times smaller than human hair, using specialised materials.
      • Polariton excitations: The panel of researchers utilised a scientific phenomenon called polariton excitations that occur in tailored materials when light couples with either the collective free electron oscillations or polar lattice vibrations to achieve this feat.
    • Issue: 
      • Not all the wavelengths of light (electromagnetic waves) are easy to utilise, especially infrared light since it is difficult to detect and modulate.
    • Significance of Electromagnetic waves:
      • It is a renewable energy source used for electricity generation, telecommunication, defence and security technologies, sensors, and healthcare services. 

    Source: PIB