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Making a light-harvesting antenna from scratch
Date:11/29/2011

"We're not trying to make a more efficient solar cell in the next six months," Holten cautions. "Our goal instead is to develop fundamental understanding so that we can enable the next generation of more efficient solar powered devices."

Biomimicry hasn't always worked. Engineers often point out early flying machines that attempted to mimic birds didn't work and that flying machines stayed aloft only when nventors abandoned biological models and came up with their own designs.

But there is nothing predestined or inevitable about this. As biological knowledge has exploded in the past 50 years, mimicking nature has become a smarter strategy. Biomimetic or biohybrid designs already have solved significant engineering problems in other areas and promise to greatly improve the design of solar powered devices as well.

After all, Nature has had billions of years to experiment with ways to harness the energy in sunlight for useful work.


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Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert  

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