Money in butterfly’s wings

Scientists from China and Japan discovered that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar collectors, which can lead to a design of a more efficient dye-sensitized solar cells.

These cells are said to have the highest light-conversion efficiencies among all solar cells — as high as 10 percent. The discoveries on butterfly wings show that some microstructures on the wings surface are effective solar collectors or blocks. Their laboratory tests showed that the butterfly wing solar collector absorbed light more efficiently than conventional dye-sensitized cells.

Their study appeared in the Jan. 13 issue of American Chemical Society’s biweekly journal Chemistry of Materials.

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