A Moment of Science

Insect-Inspired Technology Leads To Improvements In Solar Panels

Using moth eyes as inspiration, a team of scientists in Japan have created a film that could be used on solar cells.

a yellow moth close-up

Photo: Davis Kwan (flickr)

Moths have amazing eyes that resist water and limit reflection.

Moths have very unique eyes. Moth eyes allow the insects to see at night and are covered in a coating that makes them perfect inspiration for new solar cell technology.

Moth Eyes And Technology

Moth eyes are covered in a water-repellent film that is one of the least reflective surfaces in nature. Being reflective is a danger to moths who often travel at night.

Using moth eyes as inspiration, a team of scientists in Japan have created a film that could be used on solar cells. The film would be able to be mass-produced and would cut down on reflected light. Scientists tested the new film in Phoenix and Tokyo and found that the light-capturing film would make solar cells up to 6 percent more efficient.

Future Improvements

The scientists in Japan are now working to improve the film’s durability. They want to make sure that the film is strong so that it would not have to be replaced frequently. Scientists also want to make sure it will work for different types of solar cells.

While 6 percent is not a huge improvement in efficiency, it is a big step forward for solar cell technology.

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Margaret Aprison

Margaret is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. The daughter of two scientists, Margaret has been surrounded by the subject her entire life. She enjoys social media, writing, television, and, of course, science!

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