Smart wallpaper’ which absorbs light could help power home

Engineers at the University of Surrey have borrowed the design of moth eyes to create paper-like panels which soak up even dim light with 90 per cent efficiency. Moth eyes have microscopic patterns which filters light towards the centre. By copying the design, scientists managed to make the panels ultra-efficient. “Moths’ eyes have microscopic patterning that allows them to see in the dimmest conditions”.

By using Graphene material – which is one atom thick, it seemed the ideal material to create these nanometre thin applications such as ‘smart wallpaper’ that could generate electricity from waste light or heat.

Dr José Anguita of the University of Surrey commented, “Nanotexturing graphene has the effect of channelling the light into the narrow spaces between nanostructures, thereby enhancing the amount of light absorbed by the material”.

“Installed indoors, as part of future ‘smart wallpaper’ or ‘smart windows’, this material could generate electricity from waste light or heat.”

Professor Ravi Silva, Head of the Advanced Technology Institute.

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