How moth eyes can be used to make better solar cells

Putting an anti-reflective film on solar cells could help improve the efficiency of solar cells. The film can also be used on computer screens and windows.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

Recently, I wrote about how one researcher discovered how to model solar cell production after fly eyes. But even if you can produce solar cells on a large scale, you need to make sure the solar cells can efficiently take in the sunshine.

This time around, insect eyes have inspired a sort of anti-reflection film that can improve the efficiency of solar cells. The researchers in Japan used the structure of moth eyes to create a thin film that could be placed on solar cells to capture more power from the sun.

It makes sense: the less light that is reflected, the more light can be absorbed.

To make their case for this extra film layer, the scientists calculated that each year, an anti-reflective coating could help cities like Phoenix improve efficiency of solar cells by 6 percent. For Tokyo, efficiency would improve by 5 percent.

That might seem insignificant, but the researchers insist that, it is not. Think of it like improving automobile fuel efficiency, where every percentage counts.

Related on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards