Nature knows what it is doing, and scientists are taking note. The next generation of flexible, light-manipulating networks has been inspired by leaves and spider webs.
A network design based on spider webs is flexible and strong, and it draws light in much the same way a web traps insects. Those qualities make it valuable for touch screens and electronic display panels.
The veins that gather light and carry nutrients through a leaf are a model for an effective electrode that could be used in solar cells, lighting and other applications, according to a new report in Nature Communications.
Boston College physicist Andrzej Herczynski says the idea starts with the premise that natural forms offer solutions for efficient designs.
The researchers report the low-cost, simple-to-manufacture, nature-inspired designs delivered up to four times the performance of other networks.