Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Energy from Sunlight: Further Steps towards Artificial Photosynthesis

24.06.2016

Chemists from the Universities of Basel and Zurich have come one step closer to generating energy from sunlight: for the first time, they were able to reproduce one of the crucial phases of natural photosynthesis with artificial molecules. Their results have been published by the journal Angewandte Chemie (international edition).

Green plants are able to temporarily store electric charges after the absorption of sunlight by using a so-called molecular charge accumulator. The two research teams were able to observe this process in artificial molecules that they created specifically for this experiment.

Two charges stored shortly

The chemists excited the artificial molecules using a laser, which then made it possible to store two negative charges for a short time span for the very first time. They succeeded in storing the charges long enough, namely for 870 nanoseconds, thus making them effectively usable for artificial photosynthesis.

Importantly, the investigators carried out the charge accumulation without employing any sacrificial reagents. So far, charge accumulations in artificial molecules had only been possible using such sacrificial reagents. Large amounts of energy had to be used for these, which made a sustainable conversion of sunlight into chemically stored energy impossible.

“Our results represent a fundamental and important step on the path to artificial photosynthesis”, say Prof. Oliver Wenger (University of Basel) and Prof. Peter Hamm (University of Zurich), who jointly led the study. However, they claim, it is still a long way to go until the aspired sustainable application will become reality.

Conversion into fuel

The two research groups of the Universities of Basel and Zurich are currently investigating how the charge accumulation can be converted into a chemical fuel. As an inspiration, they look at green plants, which use charge accumulation to build vital, energy-rich substances. Artificial photosynthesis is considered a promising element of a sustainable future energy supply.

Original source

M. Orazietti, M. Kuss-Petermann, P. Hamm, O. S. Wenger
Light-Driven Electron Accumulation in a Molecular Pentad
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2016), doi: 10.1002/anie.201604030 (English Version) und 10.1002/ange.201604030 (German Version).

Further information

Prof. Oliver Wenger, University of Basel, Department of Chemistry, phone: +41 61 267 11 46, email: oliver.wenger@unibas.ch

Prof. Peter Hamm, University of Zurich, Department of Chemistry, phone: +41 44 635 44 31, email: peter.hamm@chem.uzh.ch

Weitere Informationen:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201604030/abstract - Abstract

Christoph Dieffenbacher | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world
05.12.2016 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht High-precision magnetic field sensing
05.12.2016 | ETH Zurich

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>