Prof. Dr. Richard Cogdell and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Köhler will discuss with more then 100 scientists from 18 nations the latest results of the main topic of the conference: Harvesting solar energy by natural and artificial photosystems.
The total annual global energy consumption is set at least to double from its current level by 2050. However, fossil fuel will start to run out by that time and in any case this would produce unacceptable amounts of CO2 enhancing global warming. From the fact that the amount of solar energy that hits the Earth every hour corresponds to the world's annual energy consumption, it becomes clear that solar driven energy production represents a sustainable long-term solution for that problem. Hence, harnessing solar energy for energy supply becomes a major challenge for the future.
At present the only conversion technology that might offer long-term, large-scale use is photovoltaics, i.e. a technology based on inorganic solar cells manufactured in a classical top-down approach. Its natural counterpart however, photosynthesis, is based on exactly the opposite strategy - bottom-up, i.e. starting from individual molecules and combining them to supramolecular structures by self-assembly. The success of this strategy is testified by the high flexibility and robustness of this process covering a variety of scales such as size (bacteria and trees), temperature (thermal springs and Siberian tundra), and environmental conditions (variations in pH). Moreover, nature has been able to solve successfully problems like adaptation to light conditions, self-reproduction, and self-repair.
In recent years, progress in structural biology has provided detailed insights into the structure-function relationships of the molecular machinery of photosynthesis. However, in order to learn from biology how to construct systems for artificial photosynthesis a better understanding of fundamental processes like exciton transfer, charge separation, or cyclic electron flow is crucial. This asks for collaborations between biologists, biochemists, physicists, crystallographers, and others to do the research. Moreover training of students to develop the expertise at the interface of such different disciplines to carry this long term but essential research forward is one of the most important tasks for the future.
The conference "Light-Harvesting Processes LHP09" is financially supported by the Volkswagen Foundation.The process of light harvesting by antenna pigments lies at the heart of solar energy conversion. Aim of the conference is to bring together scientists from diverse fields to stimulate co-operations and to discuss options for the technological development of practical methods for the utilization of photosynthesis. The realization of the seriousness and rapidity of climate change accentuates the importance of this research for future energy supply.
Our digital society in 2040
16.01.2019 | Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft
11<sup>th</sup> International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019
14.01.2019 | Haus der Technik e.V.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Life Sciences
16.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
16.01.2019 | Earth Sciences