Scientists in the U.S. have created an artificial sunflower less than 0.04 inches wide that can bend towards a light source and harvest solar energy.
The flowers, dubbed SunBOTs, were found to be about 400 percent more efficient than comparable devices that are stationary, making them a promising technology for solar power—potentially even as a power source for solar-based spaceships.
The team, led by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, were looking to improve the efficiency of solar cells by emulating a feature of nature—phototropism. This is where a plant orientates itself to face the sun, optimizing the amount of energy it can get. In a study published in Nature Nanotechnology, the team said achieving tropistic behavior in a synthetic material has been a “daunting challenge.”
Full article at: Newsweek