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MIT develops self-healing solar cells

Posted on Tuesday, September 07 2010 @ 03:25:11 CEST by

MIT researchers have created solar cells that repair themselves after damage from sunlight, similar to the way plants constantly break down their light-capturing molecules and reassemble them from scratch, to maintain optimal efficiency. Conventional silicon-based photovoltaic cells have little degradation, but the new technology could come in handy for new types of solar cells that have very significant degradation.
In full summer sunlight, says Michael Strano of MIT's department of chemical engineering, "a leaf on a tree is recycling its proteins about every 45 minutes, even though you might think of it as a static photocell."

Inspired by this, Strano created a set of self-assembling molecules that can turn sunlight into electricity; the molecules can be repeatedly broken down and then reassembled quickly, just by adding or removing an additional solution.
More details at TG Daily.



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