Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > New light on Earth’s energy crisis

November 24th, 2009

New light on Earth’s energy crisis

Abstract:
Another exciting breakthrough is an electronic device that uses spinach to convert light into electrical charge, developed by US researchers. Zhang Shuguang and research collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have combined a protein complex extracted from spinach chloroplasts, with organic semiconductors, to make a solar cell that could be incorporated with solid state electronics. "Nature has been doing this for billions of years," Zhang says, "but this is the first time we've been able to harness it."

With nanotechnology and the minimalist idea of ‘less is more', thinner and lighter panels are making way to a more efficient design of a solar panel.

Zhang's team artificially stabilised the protein complex at the heart of their system, consisting of 14 protein subunits and hundreds of chlorophyll molecules, using synthetic peptides to bind small amounts of water to it, within a sealed unit.

Photons then ‘excite' coupled pairs of electrons within chlorophyll, causing an electron to transfer to a nearby receptor molecule. Plants use this transfer to complete photosynthesis. Zhang has fostered this principle into his device, feeding electrons into organic semiconductors aligned on top of a layer of glass.

Zhang encountered difficulties with the use of organic materials in system. The protein complex is kept stable for about three weeks by the peptides, and the cells convert only twelve per cent of light to electrical charge. The solution seems to point towards layering numerous cells atop each other, so that a certain amount of light can pass through.

Interestingly enough, in New Zealand other researchers are on a similar wavelength. Solar cell technology developed by Massey University's Nanomaterials Research Centre will enable New Zealanders to create electricity from sunlight 90 per cent cheaper than the current silicon-based, photo-electric solar cells.

Source:
universityobserver.ie

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Dream Chip Technologies Presents First 22nm FD-SOI Silicon of New Automotive Driver Assistance SoC: Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) computer vision SoC developed for European THINGS2DO project with working first silicon fabricated on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22nm FD-SOI Platfor February 27th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Chemistry

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Nano-level lubricant tuning improves material for electronic devices and surface coatings February 11th, 2017

Scientists determine precise 3-D location, identity of all 23,000 atoms in a nanoparticle: Berkeley Lab researchers help to map iron-platinum particle in unprecedented detail February 6th, 2017

Possible Futures

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

Announcements

Dream Chip Technologies Presents First 22nm FD-SOI Silicon of New Automotive Driver Assistance SoC: Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) computer vision SoC developed for European THINGS2DO project with working first silicon fabricated on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22nm FD-SOI Platfor February 27th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Environment

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Energy

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Material can turn sunlight, heat and movement into electricity -- all at once: Extracting energy from multiple sources could help power wearable technology February 9th, 2017

NREL research pinpoints promise of polycrystalline perovskites February 8th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project