From MIT News: “Researchers explain how dye-based nanotubes can help harvest light’s energy”
July 6, 2012
David L. Chandler
“Companies that make commercial solar cells are happy if they can achieve 20 percent efficiency when converting sunlight to electricity; an improvement of even 1 percent is seen as major progress. But nature, which has had billions of years to fine-tune photosynthesis, can do much better: Microorganisms called green sulfur bacteria, which live deep in the ocean where there’s hardly any light available, manage to harvest 98 percent of the energy in the light that reaches them.
Green sulfur bacteria, whose exceptional light-harvesting capabilities inspired the artificial system analyzed by postdoc Dörthe Eisele and her co-workers, dominate this hot spring at Yellowstone National Park and give it its striking green color.
Now, researchers led by an MIT postdoc have analyzed an artificial system that models the light-capturing method used by deep-sea bacteria. Further advances in understanding fundamental light-harvesting processes may yield entirely new approaches to capturing solar energy, the researchers say. Their results were reported July 1 in the journal Nature Chemistry.”
See the full article here.