Bismuth is a heavy, brittle metal that, when melted and cooled slowly, generates brilliant geometric crystals. It’s best recognized as a component in Pepto Bismol, and it’s also known as bismuth subsalicylate. It may also be used to help power your electronics in the future.
Bismuth-based compounds are being used in photovoltaics – materials that turn light into electricity — by scientists like Robert Hoye, a lecturer in the department of materials at Imperial College London.
Bismuth possesses unusual electronic properties that make it a suitable option for solar cells while also making it ideal for indoor application, where typical photovoltaics struggle.
According to Hoye, this implies it might eventually replace the need for batteries in billions of indoor electronics such as home sensors and health monitors.
Bismuth is a good battery alternative since it is fully harmless, in addition to its capacity to absorb light. Bismuth, unlike other metals, is not harmful to people or the environment.
It won’t leak dangerous metals into soil and water if it winds up in a landfill, which is a major problem with contemporary devices that include metals like lead, cadmium, and tellurium.
Verge Science took some raw bismuth to Staten Island’s MakerSpace in order to create some otherworldly crystals, and we chatted with Robert Hoye about the fascinating future prospects for this unusual and underappreciated metal. See what we discovered in our most recent video above.