Engineers from Stanford University have managed to create ultra-thin and highly flexible solar panels through materials called dicalcogenic transition metals (TMD) that contain environmentally friendly elements. For now, its efficiency matches that of thin products made from silicon, which is the main material from which most panels are made currently and is expected to increase with the development of the technology. The good news is that this type of material has been created with thicknesses equal to that of a plastic bag. This would allow the material to be added to construction,clothing, portable electronics, windows, drones and electric vehicles, among others. 

The development of alternatives to capture solar energy is one of the most important challenges in the present decade. This design presented by Stanford University mimics nature by using rare materials in smaller quantities in order to be life friendly, use ultra-thin and flexible forms such as the leaves of higher plants, and be efficient in converting solar energy into another type type that allows the functioning of either the organism in the biological realm or the solar panel. Yet, until now it has not been possible to increase the efficiency beyond 5%,while plants performs ​​photosynthesis with an overall efficiency of 26-27%, showing there is a long way to go in understanding how to harness solar energy in the best possible way. 

Source: Anthropocene

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