Before you ask, no, we will never, ever, ever get tired of this image.
Anyway, the good folks over at MIT have discovered how to make easily built and easily disassembled solar panels. It involves, not surprisingly, plants and carbon nanotubes. It turns out that a chemical known as phospholipids tend to stick together in a structure and emit electrons when exposed to light. Even better, they really love carbon nanotubes and stick to them like a Twihard to Robert Pattinson, and carbon nanotubes just so happen to be able to collect and distribute those electrons; i.e. it acts like a wire.
That’s not the end of the good news either. These solar panels spontaneously organize themselves, no need for any catalyst or other reaction beyond light. If you need to take it apart, one additive later, the phospholipids are off the grid. And if you need to reapply, that’s as simple as using a membrane.
While this is still in the testing stage, it’s got huge implications. These solar panels can pretty much be sprayed onto anything, and can be assembled in just a few minutes. That’s got great implications for everything from providing the Third World with cheap power to being able to bring your PS3 camping. Thanks, science!
[ via DVice ]