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Self-Assembling Solar Cells are See-Through

Solar power may be zero-emission and sustainable, but it's not very efficient, at least compared to fuel-burning power sources. You'd need a lot of square-footage of solar panels to justify disconnecting from the power grid. Once you've run out of roof space, what's next? The windows? Exactly. research is already underway to do just that. 

The latest breakthrough comes to us via the Brookhaven and Los Alamos National Laboratories. They developed a photovoltaic film that can readily absorb sunlight and convert it to good ol' electricity, without obstructing your view. The best part is, they don't even have to lift a finger to make it. They just coat a surface with a semiconducting polymer and some carbon-rich fullerenes, or buckyballs, and the whole thing assembles itself.

This new process could lower production costs to a point where solar-powered windows could be feasibly marketed. That's great news for people who want to go as green and not have their house look like some hippie mad scientist's lair.

Head over to Gizmag to get the skinny on the science-y stuff that makes this whole thing possible.

[source ACS Publications via Gizmag]