First Fiber-Optic Solar Cell Makes A Good Wearable Power Source

First Fiber-Optic Solar Cell Makes A Good Wearable Power Source

By Shinji Tutoru

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, PENNSYLVANIA, USA. The world’s first fiber-optic solar cell has been created by a group of chemists, physicists and engineers. These fibers are actually flexible and much thinner as compared to human hair. At the same time, it is capable of producing electricity just like a normal solar cell. As of the moment, the US military has already shown interest in using the fibers into clothing. That way, soldiers will be able to wear this new type of wearable power source.

The study started out using optical fibers made from glass. The next procedure was to inject n-, i-, and p-type silicon into the fiber with the use of high-pressure chemical vapor deposition which actually turns it into a solar cell. These fiber-optic threads are actually similar to the usual type of solar cells because they also generate electricity from the photovoltaic effect.

John Badding is the head of the research team and he said that they were already able to produce meters-long fiber out of it. He also claims that their new method could actually be used to create some bendable silicon solar-cell fibers of over 10 meters long. That way, it will be much easier to weave the fibers to create threads that may be used to weave fabric eventually.

In the near future, these fibers are probably going to be seen in woven solar cell items such as baseball caps and t-shirts that can recharge your mobile phone by just being under the sun.

Invention Fiber-optic Solar Cell
Organization Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA
Researcher John Badding & Team
Field(s) Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Fiber-optic Solar Cells, Wearable Power Source, Solar Energy, Bionic Implants
Further Information Extreme Tech

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