Minuscule solar cells that can fix themselves using the same building blocks as plant cells have been demonstrated, with our old friend the carbon nanotube one of the key components that holds these self-healing power units together.
The photoelectrochemical cells, built from proteins, nanotubes and plant lipids, are clever enough technology to begin with, but there’s another crucial twist. The solar cells can be broken down into their component parts by the addition of a surfactant, which when removed from the solar soup lets the cells rebuild themselves.
So once they’re damaged by the sun, they can be fixed automatically by issuing the order to have them crumble and rebuild themselves. [PopSci]