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.

Refined by natural selection, spider webs and leav
Refined by natural selection, spider webs and leaves serve as models for new and highly effective optoelectronic networks and displays, a team of researchers reported recently in Nature Communications.

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.