Sunday, August 1, 2010

Future Solar Cells Will Be Made From Fly Eyes To Maximize Efficiency

This is another great example of how looking toward the basics of nature to help with the advancements of technology... In this case, it turns out that the eyes of Bowflies are the perfect shape for manufacturing efficient solar cells.
Blowflies are desirable because their eyes are hemispherical. More importantly, within each half sphere, the surface is covered by "macroscale hexagonal eyes with nanoscale features." Basically, they have the ability to take in a whole lotta light from a lot of different angles. In order to replicate the blowfly's eye, a group of scientists took the corneas of nine flies and filled them with a polymer to maintain its shape. Then, they mounted the cornea on glass and coated them with nickel. This process allowed them to create a mold with the exact pattern of a fly's eye. With these molds, scientists expect future solar cells to be built with fly eyes to maximize efficiency.

via gizmodo

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