30 Apr '12, 1pm

Leaf-Mimicking Solar Cells Generate 47% More Electricity

Leaf-Mimicking Solar Cells Generate 47% More Electricity

That smarty Mother Nature is always teaching us lessons on how to make technology better. Scientists at Princeton University were able to achieve major gains in light absorption and efficiency of solar cells after being inspired by the wrinkles and folds on leaves. The team created a biomimetic solar cell design using a relatively cheap plastic material that is capable of generating 47 percent more electricity than the same type of solar cells with a flat surface. The team used ultra-violet light to cure a layer of liquid photographic adhesive, alternating the speed of curing to create both shallower wrinkles and deeper folds in the material, just like a leaf. The team reported in the journal Nature Photonics that these curves on the surface made a sort of wave guide that channeled more light into the cell, leading to greater absorption and efficiency. © Frank Wojciechowsk...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/leaf-mimicking...

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