Scientists have printed circuits using cyanobacteria — microbes that can turn light into energy to create solar cells using a simple inkjet printer.
Unlike conventional solar cells that operate only when exposed to light, cyanobacteria can generate an electric current both in the dark and in light. The cell may serve as an environment-friendly power supply for low-power biosensors and can even be scaled up to print bioenergy wallpaper.
“Our biophotovoltaic device is biodegradable and in the future could serve as a disposable solar panel and battery that can decompose in our composts or gardens,” Marin Sawa from Imperial College London told Phys.org.
“Cheap, accessible, environmentally friendly, biodegradable batteries without any heavy metals and plastics, this is what we and our environment really need but don’t have just yet, and our work has shown that it is possible to have that,” said Sawa.