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Photovoltaic-powered sensors for the “internet of things”

September 27, 2019 / Rob Matheson

By 2025, experts estimate the number of “internet of things” devices  including sensors that gather real-time data about infrastructure and the environment  could rise to 75 billion worldwide. As it stands, however, those sensors require batteries that must be replaced frequently, which can be problematic for long-term monitoring.  MIT researchers have designed photovoltaic-powered sensors that could potentially transmit data for years before they need to be replaced. To do so, they mounted thin-film perovskite cells  known for their potential low cost, flexibility, and relative ease of fabrication as energy-harvesters on inexpensive radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags.