A picture of energy

That photo of Mom and Dad you keep on your desk also could be charging your cellphone. Researchers at Aalto University in Sweden have pioneered a way to turn photos into solar cells.

Inks absorb light; that’s why we can see print. But, in absorbing light, inks also generate heat, although usually in amounts too small to detect. The Aalto scientists have found a way to print photos using special dyes and ink-jet technology that boost the amount of heat generated and convert it to electric power.

TRENDPOST: Solar power doesn’t have to come from heavy, flat panels. There are photovoltaic power cells that roll up like window shades or can be applied as a film to windows. Portable power is growing popularity as the number of uses increase.

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