New durable optical fibers could reduce solar panel costs
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Southampton have devised a method to produce a non-crystalline form of silicon. The research team thinks the new material could be used to create more efficient and flexible optical fibers, which would be ideal for solar cells. Placing silicon within optical fibers has been quite a challenge due to the fibers' extremely narrow width. Using the silicon as a type of insulation within the fibers' core enhances their durability. The use of optical fibers infused with silicon could reduce the manufacturing costs of solar cells, which could help accelerate the use of solar energy. The findings will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.