Unification of the best piezoelectric and photovoltaic properties in a single photoferroelectric material


The piezoelectric (PE) effect is the core electromechanical coupling function widely used in sensors, actuators and transducers for various industrial sectors. The photovoltaic (PV) effect produces green electricity from the solar energy. This project aims to unify these PE and PV performances by making new photoferroelectric materials.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Horizon Europe - European Research Council (ERC)

Funding amount

1 496 023 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

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Project leader

Other persons

Project description

Electronic devices and components are getting extremely miniaturized. To make the devices even smaller and ubiquitous in the future, it will be insufficient to just squeeze as many components as possible into a small space because there is a physical limit of the space and there will be inevitable interference between components if they are placed too close to each other.

This project will contribute towards solving the problem by fundamentally UNIFY (project acronym) two significant but contradictory components, piezoelectrics and photovoltaics. Piezoelectrics convert energy between its kinetic and electrical forms and photovoltaics (or optoelectrics) convert energy between its optical and electrical forms. They are widely used in modern electronics of energy, smart sensing, medical, automotive, space industries and so on. These two types of components have not been believed to be able to reach top performances simultaneously in the same component and, UNIFY is seeking to change this view. The project attempts to replace the ever-separate components with a single, universal one, where a success will revolutionize the field from a potentially fourth dimension – material composition and microstructure.

Project results

Vasilii A. Balanov, Filipp Temerov, Vladimir Pankratov, Wei Cao, Yang Bai (2023): Filterless Visible-Range Color Sensing and Wavelength-Selective Photodetection Based on Barium/Nickel Codoped Bandgap-Engineered Potassium Sodium Niobate Ferroelectric Ceramics. Solar RRL. https://doi.org/10.1002/solr.202370031

  • Important optoelectrical components such as photodetectors and color sensors rely on the semiconductor technology which, however, does not allow selective detection of incident wavelengths. This paper proposes a fundamentally different approach of using band gap engineered photoferroelectric ceramics to achieve filterless detection of both wavelengths and intensity of incident lights, simultaneously.