According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, scientists from the University of Surrey, UK have designed a new moth–inspired ultra–thin graphene sheets that could be used as wallpapers. The wallpapers dubbed as ‘smart wallpaper’ can absorb light, heat and power essential applications at home.
The wallpaper was designed with the help of a technique known as nanotexturing, which involves growing graphene around a textured metallic surface. Earlier, the team had thought of building flexible solar panels with the help of graphene as it is only one atom thick. However, the carbon in the material is poor at absorbing light. Therefore, they turned to nature to find out how animals and creatures see in the dark. During their observation, they came across moths whose eyes have microscopic patterns, which filters the light towards its centre.
Scientists, therefore, used nanopatterning to channel light into the narrow space between the textured metallic surfaces. Hence, about 90% of the light is absorbed by the material. The material could be installed indoors as part of the future smart wallpaper or smart window and could generate electricity from waste light or heat.