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Scientists might have figured out how to make solar power work at night

By attaching photoswitching molecules called azobenzene to a template of carbon nanotubes, scientists have designed a ‘solar thermal fuel’ that can release heat on demand,

By Sudeshna Chowdhury, Staff writer / April 16, 2014

A powerful arc lamp is used to simulate sunlight on a sample of photoswitchable molecules, driving structural changes at the molecular level. A portion of the light’s energy is stored with each structural change. The progress of these changes can be tracked by monitoring the molecules’ optical properties.

Image courtesy of the researchers
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The amount of energy generated by the sun in just an hour is more than enough to satisfy power needs of the Earth for an entire year. Harnessing that energy, however, can be a challenge, especially when it’s dark out….


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