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December 8 2012

The first flexible, fiber-optic solar cell that can be woven into clothes


An international team of engineers, physicists, and chemists have created the first fiber-optic solar cell. These fibers are thinner than human hair, flexible, and yet they produce electricity, just like a normal solar cell. The US military is already interested in weaving these threads into clothing, to provide a wearable power source for soldiers.

In essence, the research team started with optical fibers made from glass and then, using high-pressure chemical vapor deposition, injected n-, i-, and p-type silicon into the fiber, turning it into a solar cell.

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