Imagine if all you had to do to charge your mobile phone was to wear a baseball cap on a sunny day.
The sun is the source of all energy on Earth; of life itself, in fact. Yet solar energy technology is still in its infancy. One of the many possibilities for future use of solar is portable, non-intrusive, power-generating clothing.
Now an international team of physicists, chemists and engineers, led by John Badding of Penn State University, has developed extremely thin and flexible silicon-based optical fibre with solar cell capabilities. The thread can be scaled up to many metres in length and woven into clothing.
Uses of this thread are endless, from soldiers’ uniforms to the clothing of bionic transplant recipients.
And the wearers’ phones need never run out of charge again.