Are Eyes From Flies the Future of Solar Technology?

By Allison Bond | July 29, 2010 8:52 pm

eyesScientists are eyeing the future of solar technology–specifically, fly eyes. Turns out those bubbly-looking spectators might be just the ticket to more-efficient solar cells, researchers from Penn State University say.

Blowflies have peepers that would help solar panels collect light more efficiently, and creating these fly-eye molds was a feat in itself, according to Discovery News. After plucking the corneas from blowflies,

“The researchers took corneas, fixed them on a glass substrate, added a polymer to protect the shape and then coated nine-eye arrays in nickel within a vacuum chamber. The result was a master template that retained those useful nanoscale features. Ultimately that template can be used to replicate the pattern exactly.”

As they say, 30 eyes are better than one. Accordingly, the researchers next plan to create a template using 30 fly corneas.

Related content:
Discoblog: How Butterfly Wing Patterns Could Thwart Counterfeiting Crooks
Discoblog: Video: The Delicate Flutter of Robotic Butterfly Wings
Discoblog: A Fruit Fly With a Laser-Shaved Penis Just Can’t Catch a Break

Image: flickr / Thomas Shahan

MORE ABOUT: flies, solar, technology
  • http://Untitledvanityproject.blogspot.com Rhacodactylus

    Holy Crap!!! “The researchers took corneas, fixed them on a glass substrate, added a polymer to protect the shape and then coated nine-eye arrays in nickel within a vacuum chamber.” That is a REALLY specific skill set.

  • Kimbelry

    If you can’t say something nice….and besides, not everyone can deal with the fragile, very tiny blow fly corneas.When you are brilliant and get published we will gladly read about you.

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