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Solar Cell Efficiency: Eye of Moth Vs. Petal of Rose #Biomimicry

Solar cell efficiency rose petal

A team from Germany is researching rose petals and the their ability to improve solar cell efficiency, Via cleantechnica

Moth eyes were last year’s big thing in solar cell biomimicry, and now it looks like a new challenger has stepped into the ring. A research team from Germany’s Karlsruher Institut für Technologie has zeroed in on the nanoscale structure of rose petals — specifically, the El Toro variety — to improve thin-film solar cell efficiency by up to 13%.

The researchers note that plants have received quite a bit of attention for their anti-reflective and water-repelling powers, which serve as an inspiration for self-cleaning solar panels and other materials.

Applying their unique surface structure to solar cell efficiency is another story. You can find the new study under the title “Flower Power: Exploiting Plants’ Epidermal Structures for Enhanced Light Harvesting in Thin-Film Solar Cells” in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.

Do take a look if only to enjoy the rose-worthy presentation that precedes the nuts and bolts (and to find out how the team hit up El Toro as a research subject), but for those of you on the go, here’s the takeaway:

…the hierarchical structures decorating the petals of Rosa ‘El Toro’ are replicated into a transparent resist layer to form highly efficient light harvesting elements that can be applied to any photovoltaic technology.

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