Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Self-Repairing #Solar Cell is Bio-Inspired

Experimental solar cells using carbon nanotubes in a liquid core instead of the solid-state can be designed to rejuvenate themselves from the sun's damaging rays just like leaves do when performing photosynthesis. Look for self-repairing solar cells using a liquid core within three years. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

Professor Michael Strano (left) with doctoral candidate Ardemis Boghossian (seated) and postdoctoral fellow Moon-Ho Ham who is holding their photoelectrochemical cell.
Photo: Patrick Gillooly

Here is what EETimes says about self-healing liquid-core solar cells: Carbon nanotubes studded with phospholipid disks enable solar cells to perform self-repairing operations similar to plants performing photosynthesis. The resulting photoelectrochemical solar cells are claimed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers to be twice as efficient as the best solid-state solar panels. The main difference between man-made and natural solar power conversion is that engineers aim to armor solar cells against gradual degradation with solid-state inorganic materials, whereas natural solar conversion uses photosynthesis to anticipate and repair inevitable damage to liquid-state organic materials.
Full Text: