Imagine a future where you can capture energy from indirect sunlight, such as energy from household devices. A new breakthrough with graphene has the possibility to create indoor solar cells that can do just that.
Created by researchers from the University of Surrey in the U.K, this new type of graphene can be used to power the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as smart watches, smart glasses, and various other wearable technology and household devices.
Graphene is a single atom thick, therefore its hard to capture light so researchers reportedly studied moth eyes to create this new type of graphene, which according to the researchers is the most light absorbing material to ever be created. Using “nano texturing” researchers modified graphene sheets to match patterns in moth eyes, which takes on a hexagonal pattern. You can find their work in Science Advances.
SOURCE|Brookhaven National Laboratory.
“Moths’ eyes have microscopic patterning that allows them to see in the dimmest conditions,” said in a statement by co-author Riva Silva. “These work by channeling light towards the middle of the eye, with the added benefit of eliminating reflections, which would otherwise alert predators of their location. We have used the same technique to make an amazingly thin, efficient, light-absorbent material by patterning graphene in a similar fashion.”
According to researchers these new graphene sheets increase the absorption of light by 95%, from its previous 2-3%. They could also be used on solar cells to boose light absorpotion and create a new type of device called a smart wallpaper, which can absorb small amounts of electricity and heat.
In the future this new technology could be used to save energy, reuse energy, and make it easier to absorb more energy.