30 Sep '16, 8pm

Mimicking the Veins in a Leaf, Scientists Hope to Make Super-Efficient Displays and Solar Cells

Mimicking the Veins in a Leaf, Scientists Hope to Make Super-Efficient Displays and Solar Cells

If you take a close look at a leaf from a tree and you’ll notice the veins that run through it. The structure these veins take are what’s called a quasi-fractal hierarchical networks. Fractals are geometric shapes in which each part has the same statistical character of the whole. Fractal science is used to model everything from snowflakes and the veins of leaves to crystal growth. Now an international team of researchers led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have mimicked leaves’ quasi-fractal structure and used it to create a network of nanowires for solar cells and touch screen displays . Indium tin oxide (ITO) has been the go-to material for transparent conductors in displays and solar cells. While the costs associated with ITO have been one of the main knocks against it, it’s been difficult for the various nanomaterials proposed as alternatives to replace it . Nanomaterials...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materia...

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