Spicy food makes us sweat. It’s the capsaicin that does it.
Since sweating is about converting energy, researchers at the East China Normal University decided to transpose the effect to something completely different. Solar cells.
An ultra-thin lead-based cell is more proficient than its silicon-based counterpart at absorbing sunlight, but less good at converting it into energy.
Add a dash of capsaicin on top of the lead cell, however, and – voila – the efficiency rate improves by 3% points. When placed under the microscope the hot cells released a higher number of electrons, allowing more electricity to be conducted.
Fighting heat dissipation with heat.
Pass the chili!