Scientists create solar cell fiber that could potentially be woven into cloth
An international team of scientists led by a University of Pennsylvania professor said Thursday that they’ve created a unique new fiber thinner than a human hair that can capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.
Their research on this new solar cell breakthrough was published this week in a subscriber-only preview available to the readers of the scientific journal Advanced Materials.
“Long, fiber-based solar cells give us the potential to do something we couldn’t really do before,” Professor John Badding said in a media advisory. “We can take the silicon fibers and weave them together into a fabric with a wide range of applications such as power generation, battery charging, chemical sensing, and biomedical devices.”
The breakthrough was achieved using high-pressure chemical vapors to help inject different types of silicon into microscopic pores in optical fiber, creating a flexible thread that reacts just like a standard solar cell.