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 Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
21.07.2017 | Stanford University

nachricht Team develops fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes
18.07.2017 | University of Washington

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>