Quantcast

Scientists unveil solar cells the width, flexibility of spider silk

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 16:04 EDT
google plus icon
next      AFP logo 26 mins ago  Sponsored Links  ( What's this? )      President Lowers Mortgage      If you owe under $729k you probably qualify for the Govt Refi Program.     www.MortgageRatesExperts.com      2.37% Mortgage Refinance      $160,000 Mortgage for $622/Mo. Secure. No Hidden Fees. 3.1% APR     eLendingSaver.com      Woman is 51 But Looks 25      Mom publishes simple wrinkle secret that has angered doctors...     ConsumerLifestyles.org  Photo Galleries By Category      World     Entertainment     U.S.     Business     Sports     Tech     Science     Health     Politics      Deadly blast hits Somali theater     Deadly blast hits Somali theater      8 photos     US troops land in Aussie training hub     US troops land in Aussie training hub      6 photos     New Zealand cargo ship disaster     New Zealand cargo ship disaster      16 photos     Duchess of style     Duchess of style      10 photos     Rally of hope in Mogadishu     Rally of hope in Mogadishu      17 photos     Fiji floods leave thousands homeless     Fiji floods leave thousands homeless      4 photos     Transgender model may compete in pageant     Transgender model may compete in pageant      6 photos     Landmarks light up blue for autism awareness     Landmarks light up blue for autism aware …      8 photos     The bridge that suspends belief     The bridge that suspends belief      5 photos     Violent winds batter Japan     Violent winds batter Japan      6 photos     Floating homes the answer to rising seas     Floating homes the answer to rising seas      6 photos     Egypt graffiti spurs revolution     Egypt graffiti spurs revolution      14 photos     Syrian troops attack rebel strongholds     Syrian troops attack rebel strongholds      42 photos     James Murdoch leaves chairman role     James Murdoch leaves chairman role      8 photos     Battered yacht crew returns to shore     Battered yacht crew returns to shore      15 photos     Falklands War anniversary     Falklands War anniversary      36 photos  Related Search Results Loading...      This undated recent picture, released by Nature Communications shows a thick ultrathin solar cell device attached to a elastomeric support, under three-dimensional deformation by pressure from a plastic tube, developed by a team of Austrian and Japanese scientists. These solar cells are thinner than a thread of spider silk and flexible enough to wrap around a single human hair. (AFP Photo/)
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Austrian and Japanese researchers on Wednesday unveiled solar cells thinner than a thread of spider silk that are flexible enough to be wrapped around a single human hair.

The thin-film device, comprising electrodes on a plastic foil, is about 1.9 micro-metres thick, a tenth the size of the thinnest solar cells currently available, the researchers said.

One micro-metre is one millionth of a metre (3.3 feet).

“The total thickness of this device is less than a typical thread of spider silk,” the researchers said in a report carried by online science journal Nature Communications.

“Being ultra-thin means you don’t feel its weight and it is elastic,” said one of the researchers, Tsuyoshi Sekitani from the University of Tokyo.

“You could attach the device to your clothes like a badge to collect electricity (from the sun)… Elderly people who might want to wear sensors to monitor their health would not need to carry around batteries,” Sekitani told AFP.

The research was done jointly by Martin Kaltenbrunner, Siegfried Bauer and other researchers from Johannes Kepler University of Austria as well as Sekitani and other contributors from University of Tokyo.

Sekitani said it was possible to make the cells bigger.

“Power generation by solar cells increases with their size. As this device is soft, it is less prone to damage by bending even if it gets bigger,” he said.

Sekitani said the team hoped to increase the rate at which the device converts sunlight into electricity and put it to practical use in around five years.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+