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September 16th, 2004
For the first time, MIT researchers have incorporated a plant’s ability to convert sunlight to energy into a solid-state electronic “spinach sandwich” device that may one day power laptops and cell phones.
At the heart of the device is a protein complex dubbed Photosystem I (PSI). Derived from spinach chloroplasts, PSI is 10 to 20 nanometers wide. Around 100,000 of them would fit on the head of a pin. “They are the smallest electronic circuits I know of,” said researcher Marc A. Baldo, assistant professor of electronic engineering and computer science at MIT.
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