Visible light communications and high-efficiency photovoltaics are achieved altogether using tailor-made hybrid perovskite solar cells. Visible light communications (VLC) harness visible light for wireless information transfer. They are an appealing alternative to radiofrequency technologies, such as Wi-Fi, because they are more secure as visible light does not propagate through walls. In traditional VLC designs, a light source and a photodetector are used respectively as emitter and receiver of a fastly time-varying signal. A solar cell can also be used as an efficient receiver if it presents a fast time-response and a high sensitivity to low-intensity light. Hybrid perovskite solar cells, in which the perovskite material consists of a mixture of organic and inorganic ions, have emerged as a promising photovoltaic technology. Their success lies in their high photovoltaic conversion efficiency under solar illumination, achievable with devices fabricated by simple solution processing routes. Herein, Natalie A. Mica and coworkers report hybrid perovskite solar cells enabling 56 Mbps VLC with red laser light, together with a photovoltaic conversion efficiency above 20% under continuous white LED illumination. Fabricating devices showing such high performance for both information and indoor energy harvesting is a very remarkable achievement, which the authors have made possible by suitably tuning the perovskite thickness and composition.
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