Buddhist singing bowls inspire solar cell design

Buddhist singing bowls resonate with sound and have inspired a Canberra scientist to create nano-bowls that do the same with light. Using these bowls in solar cells will increase their ability to capture more light and convert it into electricity.

Niraj Lal with the Buddhist bowl that inspired his research into solar cells. Credit: OK-White Lane
Niraj Lal with the Buddhist bowl that inspired his research into solar cells. Credit: OK-White Lane

“Current standard solar panels lose a large amount of light energy as it hits the surface, making the panels inefficient,” says the Australian National University’s Niraj Lal. “But if the cells are singing bowl–shaped, then the light bounces around inside the cell for longer.”

Niraj and his colleagues hope to apply his singing bowl concept to tandem solar cells, a technology that absorbs sunlight more effectively but has previously been limited to aerospace applications.

For more information: Fresh Science, freshscience.org.au/stories

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