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

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Chemistry

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

New carbon nitride material coupled with ruthenium enhances visible-light CO2 reduction in water June 15th, 2017

Learning with light: New system allows optical “deep learning”: Neural networks could be implemented more quickly using new photonic technology June 12th, 2017

Electrocatalyst nanostructures key to improved fuel cells, electrolyzers June 5th, 2017

Possible Futures

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Announcements

Bosch announces high-performance MEMS acceleration sensors for wearables June 27th, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

NMRC, University of Nottingham chooses the Quorum Q150 coater for its reliable and reproducible film thickness when coating samples with iridium June 27th, 2017

Picosun’s ALD solutions enable novel high-speed memories June 27th, 2017

Environment

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Can crab shells provide a 'green' solution to malaria? Study shows how a mixture of chitin and silver nanoparticles inhibits growth of mosquito larvae May 12th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Wood filter removes toxic dye from water April 21st, 2017

Energy

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Cambridge Nanotherm partners with Inabata for global sales and distribution June 20th, 2017

Development of low-dimensional nanomaterials could revolutionize future technologies June 15th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Development of low-dimensional nanomaterials could revolutionize future technologies June 15th, 2017

In a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, the physicist Serdar Sarıçiftçi investigates possible uses in electronics of the semiconductor properties of indigo pigment June 14th, 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