Optically Transparent Wood (TW) could be used for solar panels

Transparent Wood
COURTESY LARS BERGLUND The “optically transparent” wood lets most light shine right through.

We all know wood is one of the most reliable and generally used building material. It is strong, cheap, properly manageable and recognizable. A new formation of transparent wood has been developed. It could be used for constitute windows, wood covered solar cells, mass production and semi-transparent appearance in future. This is done by Swedish researchers at KTH Royal institute of Technology in Stockholm.

For solar cells, this transparent wood is good material. After all, it is of low-cost, effortlessly available and remunerable resource. This exciting property of it becomes, specifically essential for covering large surfaces with solar cells.

Key features of this Transparent Wood:

  • This transparent wood material has the potential to improve indoor lighting, by permitting natural light through walls.
  • Save costs of fabricated lightning and may have used in solar cell windows.
  • Maintain privacy while permitting let light in.
  • Its fogginess gives it use inside the solar cell as it snares light by improving effectiveness.

How was this Transparent Wood developed?

To develop this transparent wood, scientists synthetically removed lignin from samples of Balsa wood. Lignin is a fundamental polymer in plants. It could be found in the cell of walls, obstructing 80 to 95 percent of the light that passing through it. When this Lignin has been removed, the wood becomes pleasingly white.

Because of wood is not transparent by nature, scientists got that effect with some nano scale editing. So, the white wood was enclosed with Pre-polymerized Methyl Methacrylate (PMMA), a transparent acrylic polymer. Due to this, the research team was able to change its refractive index to accomplish transference of light of up to 85 percent.

Previously made transparent wood based material always been used on a very small-scale such as wood-based computer chips and at the microscopic level. But now, according to researchers, this lightweight material could have bigger applications.

In windows creation, this transparent wood is a lot less breakable than glass sheets. It also has excited properties like semi-transparent. Due to which the light will let in but privacy will also get maintained by using in place of patterned glass.

For solar cells, it will decrease the maintenance cost and improve their footprint by displacing silica-based glass with wood, while still letting in enough of light.

It’s great that material coming out from recognizable sources. It also offers superior mechanical properties like robustness, hardness, low density and low thermal conductivity.