A new device harnesses the contrast between points of light and shade to generate an electric current that can power small electronic devices.
“We can capture energy anywhere on Earth, not necessarily in open space,” said Swee Ching Tan, a materials scientist at the National University of Singapore. he created the device, called a shadow-effect generator, by placing an ultra-thin layer of gold on silicon, a key material in solar cells.
This machine works on the same principle as a solar battery.
With eight generators, Tan’s team can run an electronic clock in low light. These devices can also act as sensors. When a remote control car passes by, its shadow falls on the generator, creating an electric current to light up the LED. The greater the contrast between light and darkness, the more power the transmitter will deliver. So Tan’s team is trying to increase the efficiency of the device by using the same mechanism that solar cells use to collect light. Increasing the amount of light this machine absorbs will allow them to exploit the darkness more effectively.
These generators could one day generate power in dark spots in a solar array, between skyscrapers or even indoors. “Many people think darkness is useless,” says Tan. But anything can help, even darkness.”
According to Science News.