from the fun-in-the-sun dept.
Patrick Underwood writes: "Here is an article from newscientist.com on self-assembling solar cells ("Self-assembling solar cells developed", by Ian Sample, 9 August 2001). Reminds me of Unbounding the Future. This comes pretty close to the idea in that book of paving streets with solar collectors."
The New Scientist article describes solar cells that "self assemble" from a liquid developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge. The method could make it cheap and easy to cover large areas, like roofs, with efficient, ultra-thin solar cell coatings.
Related research is being conducted at the University of Arizona, as described in this detailed press release from 28 August 2001. UA researchers have received nearly US$ 1 million from two separate federal grants to develop organic molecules that "self assemble," or self-organize, from liquid into efficient solar cell coatings. Some of the UA researchers had previously collaborated with the U Cambridge team.