“Transparent wood is a good material for solar cells, since it’s a low-cost, readily available and renewable resource,” Berglund says. “This becomes particularly important in covering large surfaces with solar cells.”
Berglund says transparent wood panels can also be used for windows, and semitransparent facades, when the idea is to let light in but maintain privacy.
The optically transparent wood is a type of wood veneer in which the lignin, a component of the cell walls, is removed chemically.”When the lignin is removed, the wood becomes beautifully white.
But because wood isn’t not naturally transparent, we achieve that effect with some nanoscale tailoring,” he says.The white porous veneer substrate is impregnated with a transparent polymer and the optical properties of the two are then matched, he says.”No one has previously considered the possibility of creating larger transparent structures for use as solar cells and in buildings,” he says