We're always up for another way to harvest energy from the sun, but this new nanoantenna material developed by the DoE's Idaho National Laboratory makes solar panels seem a little passe. The material, composed of tiny gold antennas set in polyethylene plastic is tuned to gather 80 percent of energy from infrared rays in its production version, and can gather energy from the sun, earth, or even your PC's warmth. The antennas can be tuned to different parts of the infrared spectrum, and the thin material can be sandwiched together to cover the full desired range. Unfortunately, the resulting current generated alternates at rates too high to be converted to DC with current technology -- new manufacturing processes will needed -- but once that problem is solved, nanoantennas should easily best solar cells in efficiency and production costs.

[Via DailyTech]