New fiber-optical thread doubles as solar power generator

// December 7th, 2012 // General Science News

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New fiber-optic solar cell thread

An international team of scientists have created the first fiber-optic solar cell that is thinner than a strand of human hair, flexible, and produces electricity using the same principles as a a flat-panel solar cell.  They are hoping to provide the capability to weave the new fiber-optic thread into into fabrics of clothing to produce a wearable energy source.  To create the fiber optic solar thread, the scientists took normal fiber optic glass and injected n-, i-, and p-type silicon into the glass to create a photovoltaic material just like the flat-panel solar cells that are commonly used today.  The new fiber-optic solar cell thread has an important advantage over flat-panel solar cells – it is round and can absorb light energy from all surfaces.

The developers also say the new material is able to waveguide light.  Oooh – invisibility cloaks…

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