We humans have looked around us and received inspiration from the natural world throughout the course of our evolution. Many such observations have led to the invention of tools, technology and theories that have changed the way we work and live, augmenting what in many instances are our comparatively meager sensory and physical attributes.
One of the latest examples of what has come to be called “biomimicry” originates at Stanford University, where solar energy researchers have drawn inspiration from the compound eyes of a fly to create a honeycomb scaffolding made from low-cost epoxy resin commonly used in electronics manufacturing to enhance the stability of perovskite solar photovoltaic (PV) cells without sacrificing anything in the way of power conversion efficiency.
Commercial prospects are global and mass market in scope and scale, with the potential to produce perovskite PV energy cells and products in ribbons, adhesive strips and flexible forms that can conform to almost any size or shaped surface regardless of what the underlying material is made from.
The Stanford University research team has already filed a provisional patent for their perovskite PV lattice structure, and they are moving forward with the aim of further improving their durability and power/energy conversion efficiency. Coincidentally, they are focused on developing new form factors, such as flexible perovskite PV sheets and ribbons, as well as designs for industrial tools and processes that can scale production up to commercial levels, Reinhold Dauskardt, Stanford University professor of materials science and engineering and senior author of the research study published in Energy & Environmental Science, told Solar Magazine.
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