Last week, we wrote a post about biomimicry, which is the process of taking qualities from living organisms and using them in design. We thought we would bring you news of a good example, courtesy of the humble sea sponge, which could lead to a more efficient method of making solar cells.
Currently solar cells are made under high temperature and low pressure, which requires a large amount of power. However, certain sea sponges are capable of forming silicon structures without these energy-intensive conditions. By mimicking this process, and replacing the silicon with zinc oxide, scientists have succeeded in creating primitive, but cheap solar cells.
Reducing the energy required to make solar cells will lower production and sale costs, and make them a viable option for more applications. It could also bring us nearer to a possible tipping point for solar power, where increased adoption and economies of scale cause a break into the mainstream. Related: ::Solar Category