“Artificial leaf” generates electricity

Solar cells that mimic nature have been created at North Carolina State University where water-gel-based artificial leaves containing chlorophyll produce electricity. Lead researcher Orlin Velev says the “natural” solar cells have the potential to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than current silicon-based solar cells.

The bendable devices are composed of water-based gel infused with light-sensitive molecules coupled with electrodes coated in carbon nanotubes or graphite. The light-sensitive molecules get “excited” by the sun’s rays to produce electricity, similar to plant molecules that get excited to synthesize sugars in order to grow, explains Velev, whose work has been published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.

The successful demonstration now means the researchers will work to fine-tune the water-based photovoltaic devices, making them even more like real leaves. “The next step is to mimic the self-regenerating mechanisms found in plants,” Velev says. “The other challenge is to change the water-based gel and light-sensitive molecules to improve the efficiency of the solar cells.”

The research team hopes to mimic how nature harnesses solar energy by avoiding the use of synthetic light-sensitive molecules and concentrating instead on naturally derived products – like chlorophyll – which are easily integrated into the water-gel matrix devices.

Velev imagines a future where home roofs could be covered with soft sheets of electricity-generating artificial-leaf solar cells but is cautious about overpromising. “The devices are still of relatively low efficiency and there is a long way to go before this can become a practical technology,” Velev says. “However, we believe that the concept of biologically inspired soft devices for generating electricity may in the future provide an alternative [to] present technologies.”

Related:
MIT scientists create self-assembling solar cell
Electricity generated directly from photosynthesis
Evolutionary Algorithms Used To Design A Better Leaf

Source: North Carolina State University

, ,

Comments are closed.

Artificial Red & Yellow Rose & Leaf Flowers Ribbon Garland Haar for Idol-Mala  picture

Artificial Red & Yellow Rose & Leaf Flowers Ribbon Garland Haar for Idol-Mala

$14.39



12.5

12.5" Merry Christmas Wreath LED Light Up Door Gate XMas Decoration Leaf

$18.99



Pick 1-6 Pack Trader Joe's Maple Leaf Cookies  sweet maple syrup 🍁 picture

Pick 1-6 Pack Trader Joe's Maple Leaf Cookies sweet maple syrup 🍁

$14.89



12

12" Wreath Pine Cone Holly Berries Pine Leaves Modern Christmas Garland

$9.99



70 Holly Poinsettia Leaf Medium Bulbs Ceramic Christmas Tree Lights ASSORTED    picture

70 Holly Poinsettia Leaf Medium Bulbs Ceramic Christmas Tree Lights ASSORTED

$17.95



NWT ANTHROPOLOGIE BERRY LEAF WOOL FELT DOOR WREATH CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY DECORATION picture

NWT ANTHROPOLOGIE BERRY LEAF WOOL FELT DOOR WREATH CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY DECORATION

$85.00



25 BLUE HOLLY POINSETTIA BULBS Ceramic Christmas Tree Lights MINI PINS VINTAGE picture

25 BLUE HOLLY POINSETTIA BULBS Ceramic Christmas Tree Lights MINI PINS VINTAGE

$12.95



GREEN HOLLY Poinsettia BULBS 25 Ceramic Christmas Tree Lights picture

GREEN HOLLY Poinsettia BULBS 25 Ceramic Christmas Tree Lights

$9.95



Wreath Leaf Wreath Artificial Wreath for Front Door Party picture

Wreath Leaf Wreath Artificial Wreath for Front Door Party

$21.68



Vintage Christmas Wreath MCM Aluminum Cut Tin Metal Gold Leaves Flowers 15

Vintage Christmas Wreath MCM Aluminum Cut Tin Metal Gold Leaves Flowers 15"

$175.00



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes