Articoli con tag biophotovoltaics

From Photosystem I to Bio-Solar Cells

Scheme of the Design Strategy of Creating Bio-Solar Cells (adopted from Meshin et al., 2012).

A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has presented an approach harvesting electrical energy from the integral membrane protein complex photosystem I. The strategy elaborated in the present study arrives at an energy conversion of 0,1 %. While this factor is way too small for any real-word application it means an improvement of a factor of 10.000 with respect to a previous work originating from the same principle investigator.
The paper by Mershin and collaborators which was published on the open access journal Science Reports oriented its principle idea on a previous work published by MIT researcher Shuguang Zhang and collaborators from 2004. The key idea is based on relying on the photosystem I (PS I) which is involved in a plant’s photosynthesis. The PS I permits to convert light energy into electron transfer. The original approach derived the PS I from plants and layered them on a glass substrate. However, the assembling and stabilizing needed the use of rather expensive chemicals and sophisticated lab equipment. Additionally, the resulting solar cell efficiency was orders of magnitude too weak to be of any practical use. Prosegui la lettura »

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