Self-assembling solar arrays as easy as mixing oil and water
Researchers modify tiny solar "chiplets" to get them to self-assemble, driven by the free energy of their interactions with an oil-water interface.
Modern manufacturing techniques generally require high degrees of control and intervention to get materials linked together in precise configurations. But researchers have become interested in the prospect of self-assembling systems, which can simplify existing manufacturing and allow us to produce devices on the nanoscale. Above a certain size it's possible to use gravity to drive self-organization; on the nanoscale it's possible to use chemical processes, like the base pairing of DNA, to drive the assembly process. That leaves an awkward range of devices on the micrometer scale in between that aren't heavy enough for gravity to drive assembly, but too big to be pushed around by substances like DNA. A paper that will appear in PNAS describes how it's possible to use an oil-water interface to drive the self-assembly of 20 micron silicon solar chips into a functional array.
Lees verder: http://arstechnica.c...tm_campaign=rss
Bron: Ars Technica
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