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The future of solar energy in the teeth of a snail

Scientists studied the mollusk Cryptochiton stelleri


A tunic or otherwise marine snail that listens to the scientific name Cryptochiton stelleri (or gumboot chiton in English) probably hides the secret development of solar energy.

This mollusk "voskaei" in covered rocks with algae and produces the hardest viometallo on Earth in order to address the damage caused by the teeth of eating habits.

This magnetite metal, which has been used to design new solar cells and advanced versions of the most widespread lithium ion battery.

Dr. Kiseilous and his colleagues at Riverside Bourne College of Engineering of the University of California imitate the snail to produce nanomaterials at room temperature with a view to develop microstructures low cost and high efficiency.

"Just see how it shaped the viometalla these teeth the mollusk, we will be able to develop strategies for building materials that do not exist in biosystems, such as titanium dioxide, which then can be used to produce solar low cost cell» Dr. explains. Kiseilous.

By controlling the size and shape of the nanostructures, Dr. Kiseilous believes that can make material for solar cells that absorb and convert largest amount of solar radiation, and more efficient lithium batteries to be charged faster and last longer.

Scientists already controlling the size and shape of the laboratory. The challenge is to reproduce this process on a larger scale.

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