This alien-like metal may one day power your electronics

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The Verge

Bismuth is a heavy, brittle metal that forms colorful geometric crystals when melted and then slowly cooled. It’s most commonly known as a main ingredient in Pepto Bismol — less commonly known as bismuth subsalicylate. And someday soon, it might be used to help power your electronics.

Scientists like Robert Hoye, a lecturer in the department of materials at Imperial College London, are using bismuth-based compounds in photovoltaics — materials that convert light into energy. Bismuth has unique electronic properties that not only make it a good candidate for solar cells, but make it great for indoor use — a place where traditional photovoltaics don’t perform too well. That means it might one day replace the need for batteries in billions...

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