Transparent Wood

woodKein Aprilscherz: Schwedische Forscher haben transparentes Holz hergestellt, das sich für industrielle Produktion von Solarzellen und Fenstern eignet. Von Science Daily: Wood windows? Transparent wood material used for buildings, solar cells.

Lars Berglund, a professor at Wallenberg Wood Science Center at KTH, says that while optically transparent wood has been developed for microscopic samples in the study of wood anatomy, the KTH project introduces a way to use the material on a large scale. The finding was published in the American Chemical Society journal, Biomacromolecules. "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.