An insect like a mole needs the very minimum of light to see well in the dark. Their eye shell does not reflect the resulting light. This quality film of the eye was copied by scientists to apply to the solar battery. This should help preserve the sunlight received by the battery before energy is used. Thanks to this property, the work of the solar battery will be more efficient.
The film, developed at the University of North Carolina by a team led by Dr. Ji-Hao Chang, is designed to minimize “thin-film interference” in thin-film solar cells.
Thin-film interference is the cause of gasoline films on water, which can be identified by a rainbow appearance. Some sunlight reflects off the surface of unleaded gasoline, and some penetrates deep into its surface and then reflects back through it to the surface of the main water. Since the two reflected light sources have different optical properties, they interfere with each other when combined – this results in a rainbow effect.
The same phenomenon can occur when any thin transparent films are together. In the case of thin-film solar cells, which consist of laminated films, some of the sunlight is actually lost on each layer of the film where noise occurs.
To prevent this from happening, the Chang team created a film with embedded conical nanostructures similar to those possessed by moth eyes. Together, these films have a grip almost like Lego parts. As a result, much less interference occurs between them. Due to this, several films can be layered on each other.
University scientists plan to use the technology in solar devices, with the expectation of promotion in the global market.
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