Solar Technology Inspired by Butterflies
Chinese researchers find valuable clues into developing better solar technology, inspired by the shingle structure of the wings of butterflies.
Scientists at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China reported their findings last week at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego. They found that a butterfly's wings manipulate light in away that allows them to harvest more heat to stay warm. Their rectangular scales have steep ridges, with small holes on either side leading to the next layer. By overlapping shingles of solar panels on a roof, researchers can harness solar power in the same way.
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“The prototype is very, very effective,” Tongxiang Fan, a materials scientist at the University, told the New York Times . His team is now working on creating a commercial product with those factors in mind. “This is only the first step,” he said.