Rock's Good Vibrations Super Charge Solar Cells

Dec. 21, 2012

I've always known that rock music has the power to energize. In fact, as I took to my treadmill this morning I got a spring in my step the minute Mick Jagger started pleading "Gimme Shelter."

And now a team of researchers in London have discovered that high frequencies and pitch found in pop and rock music cause vibrations that enhanced energy generation in solar cells by 40%. And while I'm a fan of classical music as well, apparently the solar cells can't get no satisfaction from Mozart like they do from Mick and the boys.

According to a press release from Queen Mary University of London, the researchers grew billions of tiny rods (nanorods) made from zinc oxide, then covered them with an active polymer to form a device that converts sunlight into electricity.

“After investigating systems for converting vibrations into electricity this is a really exciting development that shows a similar set of physical properties can also enhance the performance of a photovoltaic,” says Steve Dunn, Reader in Nanoscale Materials from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science and co-author of the paper.

This short video describes the findings. And since they don't play any music in the video, here's something for you to hum all day.

About the Author

Traci Purdum | Editor-in-Chief

Traci Purdum, an award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering manufacturing and management issues, is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent, Ohio, and an alumnus of the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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