Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a photovoltaic circuit that is entirely self-powered as long as it's left in a beam of light. The researchers claim this new circuit could eventually result in a new line of consumer devices or even model the human brain.
"This as the potential to create a new generation of optical and electronic devices," said Dawn Bonnell, a scientist from the University of Pennsylvania who co-authored a recent ACS Nano paper describing the research. "The touchscreen of your computer could act as both the electrical charger and the computer chip."
Right now Bonnell and her colleagues can only coax minuscule amounts of electricity from their photovoltaic circuits, far too little to power consumer electrical devices. Those amounts could quickly skyrocket.