Biomimesis of the wings of the butterfly produces solar cells more efficient

Biomimesis of the wings of the butterfly produces solar cells more efficient

Biomimesis of the wings of the butterfly produces solar cells more efficient

The discovery that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar collectors has led scientists in China and Japan to design a more efficient solar cell that could be used for powering homes, businesses, and other applications in the future. The researchers turned to the microscopic solar scales on butterfly wings in their search for improvements. Using natural butterfly wings as a mold or template, they made copies of the solar collectors and transferred those light-harvesting structures to Grätzel cells .Laboratory tests showed that the butterfly wing solar collector absorbed light more efficiently than conventional dye-sensitized cells. The manufacturing process is simpler and faster than other methods, and could be used to manufacture other commercially valuable devices, the researchers say

Wings taken from two species of butterfly were used as inspiration for their work, one is < (Papilionidae) of the family Nymphalidae) in the other is Thaumantis diore (Doubleday) (subfamily Amathusiidae of the family Nymphalidae) . / p>

3 Ways to Feed a Chick - wikiHow
The birds' parents might suspect that there is a new nest; however, your instinct for protection will help you overcome this. If the original nest is completely destroyed, you can make a new one by lining the basket of berries with a paper towel.

Photo by Thomas Neubauer

Papilio paris is a species of beautiful swallowtail butterfly found in South China. Expanse of the wings is about 10cm. Upper side of the wings is black, irrorated with dark green scales, which on the outer portion of the forewing coalesce and form an incomplete post disc narrow band. On the hind wing, there is a conspicuous upper disc shining blue patch. The other specie of butterfly used in our work is the Thaumantis diores, the upper wings of which are brown black. All the wings were cut into 1cm × 1cm square samples from different colors.

An electrically conducting Fluorine-doped Tin Oxide (FTO) coated glass was used as a substrate. The FTO glass was cleaned in deionized water with ultrasonication for 5 minutes. It was then hydroxylated by ultrasonication for 3 minutes in a mixture of 60ml of isopropanol and 40ml of aqueous KOH with concentration of 1M, followed by rinsing in deionized water with sonication for 10 min. After these cleaning procedures, the surface of substrates became hydrophilic. It can be anticipated that the hydrophilic FTO glass is suitable for covering a layer of TiO2 film.

Titanium sulfate was dissolved in absolute alcohol with different concentrations. After the solution was stirred for 1 h at 60 ° C, the pH was adjusted to the range of 2.5-3.0 by adding dilute H2SO4. An appropriate amount of nonionic surfactant Triton X100 was also added to this solution. Butterfly wings were pretreated in advance to remove salts and proteins. Then the pretreated butterfly wings were immersed in the titanium sulfate precursor solution maintained at constant temperature over 60 ° C for 24h or more, and then removed from the precursor solution, rinsed thoroughly with absolute alcohol. At first, we prepared a layer of colloidal TiO2 dispersed on the FTO conductive surface. The immerged wing scales were then placed on the layer of the colloidal TiO2 film, covered by another piece of FTO glass. Two pieces of the FTO glasses were tightly clamped, to keep the soaked wings flat and improve the interface between colloidal TiO2 film layer and soaked biotemplates.

In the study, Di Zhang and colleagues note that scientists are searching for new materials to improve light-harvesting in so-called dye-sensitized solar cells, also known as Grätzel cells for inventor Michael Grätzel. These cells have the highest light-conversion efficiencies among all solar cells (as high as 10 percent).