After decades of trying, consumer electronics companies are rolling out a solar technology that mimics photosynthesis in plants. It lets devices charge indoors and, in some cases, can eliminate batteries entirely.
This new light-harvesting tech is fundamentally different from the crystalline silicon-based panels on rooftops and in solar farms, and also from the amorphous silicon cells on the kind of solar-powered calculators that were once ubiquitous. This new tech is based on principles first explored by chemists in the 1960s and turned into workable solar cells in the 1980s. It’s taken until now for versions of these cells tough enough for consumer applications to be manufactured on the scale required for mainstream adoption.
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