A microscopic sensor to detect toxins needs a power source. Xiaomei Jiang and colleagues at the University of South Florida respond with an array of 20 polymer-based cells, each about the size of a 12-point lower-case letter O.
The polymer they selected has the same electrical properties as silicon wafers, but can be dissolved and printed onto flexible material. “I think these materials have a lot more potential than traditional silicon,” Jiang said. “They could be sprayed on any surface that is exposed to sunlight — a uniform, a car, a house.”
The next step is to test the array with the sensors. The team hopes to generate 15 volts by the end of the year.
[Sun Spray by littleblackcamera]