1) Artificial Leaf Solar Cell – Captures CO2 and Sunlight, Produces Fuel
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy. Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once. A solar farm of such «artificial leaves» could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.
2) Transparent Solar Cells that Could Power Mobile Phones and Skyscrapers
A Silicon Valley startup named «Ubiquitous Energy» has succedded in creating such transparent solar cells. Organic chemistry is the secret to creating such material. Manufacturing cost of organic solar is less comparing to the conventional silicon solar panels.
Ubiquitous Energy has redesigned the solar cell to selectively transmit light visible to the human eye while absorbing only the ultraviolet and infrared light and converting it into electricity. In future they can have this Invisible Solar Cells to Power the Skyscrapers. ClearView Power Technology of the Ubiquitous energy is a transparent solar cell that can coat any surface, including displays and windows, to harvest ambient light and generate electricity.