My alma mater, The Ohio State University, and their Institute for Materials Research has come up with a solar material that utilizes all wavelengths of light across the spectrum – so in layman’s terms, this material can absorb energy from the entire visible spectrum of light! It’s been a major problem for years with solar voltaics and the amount of energy they’re able to absorb – but OSU has solved this problem with their new super plastic full-spectrum light absorber. From Inhabitat’s article:
The new electrically-conductive plastic includes materials such as molybdenum and titanium. It operates upon the same principles as standard photovoltaic materials, wherein light energizes the atoms of the material and knocks electrons free to generate a current. Whereas in traditional photovoltaics the electrons are removed for a fraction of a second, in the new hybrid material the electrons are excited for much longer (7 million times) than before.
Wow. GO BUCKEYES!