The conversion of sunlight into electricity at low cost becomes increasingly important to meet the world's fast growing energy consumption. This task requires the development of new device concepts, in which particularly the transport of light-generated energy with minimal losses is a key aspect.
An interdisciplinary group of researchers from the Universities of Bayreuth and Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) report in Nature on nanofibers, which enable for the first time a directed energy transport over several micrometers at room temperature. This transport distance can only be explained with quantum coherence effects along the individual nanofibers.
The research groups of Richard Hildner (Experimental Physics) and Hans-Werner Schmidt (Macromolecular Chemistry) at the University of Bayreuth prepared supramolecular nanofibers, which can comprise more than 10,000 identical building blocks. The core of the building block is a so-called carbonyl-bridged triarylamine.
This triarylamine derivative was synthesized by the research group of Milan Kivala (Organic Chemistry) at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and chemically modified at the University of Bayreuth. Three naphthalimidbithiophene chromophores are linked to this central unit.
Under specific conditions, the building blocks spontaneously self-assemble and form nanofibers with lengths of more than 4 micrometers and diameters of only 0.005 micrometer. For comparison: a human hair has a thickness of 50 to 100 micrometers.
With a combination of different microscopy techniques the scientists at the University of Bayreuth were able to visualize the transport of excitation energy along these nanofibers. To achieve this long-range energy transport, the triarylamine cores of the building blocks, that are perfectly arranged face to face, act in concert. Thus, the energy can be transferred in a wave-like manner from one building block to the next: This phenomenon is called quantum coherence.
"These highly promising nanostructures demonstrate that carefully tailoring materials for the efficient transport of light energy is an emerging research area" says Dr. Richard Hildner, an expert in the field of light harvesting at the University of Bayreuth.
The research area light harvesting aims at a precise description of the transport processes in natural photosynthetic machineries to use this knowledge for building novel nanostructures for power generation from sunlight. In this field interdisciplinary groups of researchers work together in the Bavarian initiative Solar Technologies Go Hybrid and in the Research Training Group Photophysics of synthetic and biological multichromophoric systems (GRK 1640) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Andreas T. Haedler et al.: Long-Range Energy Transport in Single Supramolecular Nanofibres at Room Temperature,
Nature 523, 196 - 199 (2015), DOI: 10.1038/nature14570.
Dr. Richard Hildner
Experimental Physics IV
University of Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0) 921 55 4040
Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Schmidt
Macromolecular Chemistry I
University of Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0) 921 55 3200 und -3299
Hans-Werner Schmidt | EurekAlert!
Bio-circuitry mimics synapses and neurons in a step toward sensory computing
18.10.2019 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Chains of atoms move at lightning speed inside metals
17.10.2019 | Linköping University
A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)
It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.
The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...
A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.
The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...
Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...
02.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
19.09.2019 | Event News
18.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.10.2019 | Medical Engineering
18.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy