Latest in Science

Image credit:

MIT's genetically modified viruses boost solar-cell efficiency by herding nanotubes

Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

The wizards of MIT have done it again. Having checked artificial leaves and Operabots off the to-do list, they've moved on to improving the efficiency of solar cells. Their technique combines a genetically modified version of the M13 virus with carbon nanotubes, which have already been shown to increase efficiency. Unfortunately, some nanotubes enhance solar cell performance, while others inhibit it – and both types tend to clump together, negating their benefits. The modified M13 virus, however, can separate the two types as well as prevent clumping; we've seen similar use of the Tobacco mosaic virus to build better electrodes. Adding virus-built structures to dye-sensitized solar cells increased power conversion efficiency by almost one-third and, with only one additional step in the manufacturing process required, the new approach could be rapidly taken up by existing production facilities. MIT: proving once again that viruses are good for more than just smiting your enemies.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The Morning After: The iPhone 11 reviews are in

The Morning After: The iPhone 11 reviews are in

View
Google Home speakers can now make mobile calls, starting in Australia

Google Home speakers can now make mobile calls, starting in Australia

View
Outsight's 3D camera for autonomous cars can identify clothing and ice

Outsight's 3D camera for autonomous cars can identify clothing and ice

View
Apple iPhone 11 review: So good you (probably) don’t need the Pro

Apple iPhone 11 review: So good you (probably) don’t need the Pro

View
Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: Better, but not groundbreaking

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review: Better, but not groundbreaking

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr