Scientists in Austria and Japan have recently revealed that they have been working on solar panels that is not only thinner than a thread of spider silk, but is also apparently flexible enough to be wrapped around a strand of human hair. These solar panels are reportedly ten times thinner than any other solar technology to be created and could very pave the way for electronic textiles or synthetic skin, allowing those who require a medical device to be worn at all times to walk around without the additional weight of a battery.
The joint effort between the University of Tokyo and the University of Austria has resulted in electrodes spread across a plastic foil in a cell that measures only 1.9 micrometers thick. Not only are they ultra-thin, but they are durable enough and light to the point where the wearer would not even notice that they are there. Unfortunately the cells aren’t up to the level where they can power gadgets, but the team has expressed hope that they will be able to increase the rate at which the solar panels convert sunlight into energy and hope to find practical use for it in about five years.
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