Ever looked at the etching of a Blu-Ray disc? It’s oddly beautiful, refracting light like a rainbow while also offering copious digital storage.
Turns out that pattern isn’t just beautiful in the light, it’s also useful when it comes to the light. Because the particular structure of a typical Blu-ray disc happens to be one that boosts the light absorbing ability of photovoltaics. That’s according to a study in the journal Nature Communications. [Alexander J. Smith, Repurposing Blu-ray movie discs as quasi-random nanoimprinting templates for photon management]
The semi-random pattern of microscopic bumps and indents that store a movie on a Blu-ray disc also helps solar cells absorb light by spreading it around more widely within the cell—where a greater percentage of it is then available to generate a current.
Researchers at Northwestern University made the discovery by transferring the pattern of the Jackie Chan movie Supercop to the top of a plastic solar cell. They found, to their surprise, that the Supercopped solar cell boosted performance by more than 20 percent.
Of course, Supercop is not a special movie, except maybe to hardcore Chan fans. Dramas, documentaries and even cartoons worked just as well. Which means all that Blu-ray disc-making prowess could get applied to a new purpose: clean power.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort
Wearables — EVA foam is like fondant
Electronics — I touched my circuit, and now it glitches!
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython supported by 70 SBCs and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — OpenCV Critter Cam, LoraWAN on Raspberry Pi 2040, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Arcade Turns One!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week — 4pm Eastern TODAY! 3/2/21 @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.