International team of scientists create a flexible, 3D sun-powered thread.


A research team, led by John Badding of Penn State University, has developed the first ever fiber-optic solar cell. Similar in appearance to most fiber-optic cables made from flexible glass fibers, these new solar cells have the potential for creating wearable energy sources in the near future.

Thinner than a human hair, these flexible optical fibers are injected with a silicon composition under high pressure to turn them into solar cells. While most solar cells are 2-Dimensional and applied to flat, hard surfaces because of structural restrictions, the 3-Dimensional and flexible nature of these fiber-optic solar cells means they can be produced in strands that can then be woven together.

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