Solar snowflakes

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  • It’s hard to believe, but these divine glitter sized shape forms are actually tiny microphotovoltaic cells. Did you ever think solar could be this cool?

    I know I’m a textile designer, and random repeat patterns rock my boat, but truly......it’s a beautiful thing.

    The ability of light to produce electrons, and thus electricity, has been known for more than a hundred years, but these little snowflakes take solar to a new level. Each cell is formed on silicon wafers, etched and then released  in hexagonal shapes.

    They could revolutionize the way solar energy is used, in textiles and clothing, turning a person into a walking solar battery charger. From 14 to 20 micrometers thick (a human hair is approximately 70 micrometers thick), they are 10 times thinner than conventional 6-inch-by-6-inch brick-sized cells using 100 times less material to generate the same amount of electricity as standard solar cells.

    All this, and soooooooooooo beautiful. Ten out of ten from Mama Bird.

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    References: www.sandia.gov