Solar firm Spire said it is to branch out into making nanophotovoltaic devices and has secured a patent for its technology.
The patent - 7,514, 725 B2, for Nanophotovoltaic Devices is for tiny semiconductors made from silicon or gallium arsenide between 50 nanometers to five microns and how they're fabricated.
One application, according to spire, is in the healthcare sector. If the nanophotovoltaic devices are injected into cancerous tissue, they could then be exposed to radiation and generate electric fields, disrupting the cancerous cells.
Roger G. Little, CEO of Spire and the co-inventor of the technology, said that the patent expressed an extension of the company's solar energy tech into biotherapeutics. He said: "Functionalized nanophotovoltaic devices can go to cancerous cells in the body and when exposed to tissue penetrating light, may provide sufficient electrical energy to destroy the cells. We are continuing to exploit this technology in our research and development activities."
You can find the patent here.