News story: Futuristic super-thin metal could create ‘solar-panel shirts’

#1
Work on new super-thin materials could mean front line troops have solar panel shirts and data storage in their combats.

Nicola Townsend is researching the properties of new super-thin materials for a PhD at the University of Exeter with Prof Saverio Russo and Prof Monica Craciun, funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This work was carried out with Dr Iddo Amit, a Research Fellow funded through the European Commission Marie Curie Actions.

Originally, Nicola was trying to find magnetic field sensors, but started looking at a layer-structured semiconductor, that can be thinned down to thickness of a few atoms, making it truly two-dimensional.

The material, molybdenum di-telluride, is part of an exciting family of electronic materials that are promising to revolutionise the industry. Since the discovery of graphene, there’s been a push to discover new 2D materials. Most electronic gadgets are based on silicon, which is widely available - it can even be made from sand on the beach! While silicon is very common, there are things – wearable electronics, smart textiles - where silicon, due to its structure, cannot be used. The exciting new family of 2D materials offer transparency and flexibility, making them ideal for wearable tech.

The project was modified to look at the problems with implementing the new materials into our everyday devices – and Nicola discovered that the problems could offer new solutions. Minute imperfections hinder the motion of charges in the material, requiring higher energy to operate them. Surprisingly, the same imperfections can also be utilised for advanced applications, like infrared photo-detectors or memory devices.

Real-world applications for this novel technology include flexible solar panels - on backpacks or integrated into clothes, which wouldn’t add any weight. There is also potential for infrared sensing as part of cameras, which can allow their use in smoke or harsh weather conditions, or to sense organic chemical signatures in real time on packaging. There are also potential uses in communications, or for having data storage in your shirt.

Nicola said:


Graphene was only successfully isolated and measured 14 years ago, and by this sparked global interest in 2D materials. We’re only now starting to scratch the surface by looking into finding and exploiting these new materials. We’re working our way to mass production, but we can already see that this area has a huge potential.

Continue reading...
 
#2
ohh a pair of trousers that remember my browsing history...

maybe not
 
#3
Ohhh...be a bugger hooked up to the mains though to get the power supply rebate.
 
#4
The problem will be storage. The air between the shirt and your skin could act as a capacitor if a spacer is provided (string vest made of synthetic material), but every so often you need to undo the shirt and apply crocodile clips to your nipples to discharge.
 
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#5
The problem will be storage. The air between the shirt and your skin could act as a capacitor is a spacer is provided (string vest made of synthetic material), but every so often you need to undo the shirt and apply crocodile clips to your nipples to discharge.

Wishful thinking...
 
#7
#8
The problem will be storage. The air between the shirt and your skin could act as a capacitor is a spacer is provided (string vest made of synthetic material), but every so often you need to undo the shirt and apply crocodile clips to your nipples to discharge.
I would E-Mail kryten, presently in deep space, on the mining ship, "Red Dwarf" he has the definitive answer, and is conversant in electrical discharge from nipple nuts.
 
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seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Perhaps this could be used to make super-thin panels for houses instead of the hideous rows of them we see everywhere today. Or tilts for vehicles to run them, maybe partly, on solar energy. Or very light wings for high altitude drones.
 
#10
Perhaps this could be used to make super-thin panels for houses instead of the hideous rows of them we see everywhere today. Or tilts for vehicles to run them, maybe partly, on solar energy. Or very light wings for high altitude drones.
Mr Elon Musk already supplies solar tiles( Tesla Solar Roof ) so there is already no need for banks of them.
 
#11
Make hats.... Bald men will really be able to claim they have a solar panel for a sex machine.
 

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