A new technology for next-generation composite glass

Cracked and blurry phone screens could someday be a thing of the past.


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The chemical engineers and material scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of Queensland, Australia, have developed a new technology for next-generation composite glass to be used in LEDs and smartphones. Scientists have developed a process to wrap or bind the nanocrystals in the porous glass.

This new process stabilizes the materials, enhancing their efficiency and preventing the toxic lead ions from leaching out.

Co-senior author Dr. Thomas Bennett from Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy said, “It was surprising to see the retention of the high-temperature functional form in the glass. This is an example of how fundamental science leads to fantastic discoveries and a possible real-life application of metal-organic framework glasses.”

The study could lead to better and more efficient perovskite nanocrystal technology. Previously, scientists were able to produce this technology in the bone-dry atmosphere of a laboratory setting.

Scientists noted, “The technology is scalable and opens the door for many potential applications.”

Dr. Jingwei Hou from the University of Queensland (UQ) said, “At present, QLED or quantum dot light-emitting diode screens are considered the top performer for image display and performance. This research will enable us to improve on this nanocrystal technology by offering stunning picture quality and strength.”

Co-author Professor Vicki Chen, also from UQ, said, “Not only can we make these nanocrystals more robust, but we can tune their optoelectronic properties with fantastic light emission efficiency and highly desirable white light LEDs. This discovery opens up a new generation of nanocrystal-glass composites for energy conversion and catalysis.”

The results could enable the manufacture of glass screens that are less prone to cracking and deliver crystal clear image quality.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jingwei Hou et al. ‘Liquid-phase sintering of lead halide perovskites and metal-organic framework glasses.’ Science (2021). DOI: 10.1126/science.abf4460


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