Nature has often inspired the creations of man. Today these are spiders and their webs that have particularly stirred the curiosity of a team of researchers. These physicists are expecting to improve the smartphone screens or renewable energy devices using resistance and elasticity of silk thread created by these little beasts. We tell you more about this stunning research.
Researchers were able to use the properties of silk thread created by spiders, and plant leaves to improve the domains that affect us all! Indeed, the cobwebs are as strong as steel and as flexible as rubber. Thus, ribbed leaves and silk have been “tested over millions of years through natural selection” and therefore have best design.
The physicists have used these natural properties in the design of everyday tools. Plant leaves have a ribbed structure which can inspire the design of solar cell electrodes, light sources and transparent heaters. These improved devices could effectively transform entire field of renewable energy.
Spider webs are well known for their ability to trap insects. Researchers have inspired from them in the design of optoelectronics devices. The team would like to change the screens of our smartphones, creating a new generation of touch screens which are durable and flexible. The architecture would rely on the high flexibility of the fabric, transparency, strength and uniformity.
The experimental scenarios were very successful, and researchers say they were surprised by the performance of these devices. The system based on the spider web is for example able to stretch up to 25% from its original size without loss of performance. According to researchers, “no other electrode array can be stretched to more than 10%.”
Researchers are very confident about the future of their systems: as low cost and simple manufacturing would make them highly profitable inventions.
Nature is really the best engineers! We are impressed to see that spider webs can be used in so many areas. And you, do you think that future innovations need more inspiration from nature?