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Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, have managed to construct a molecular catalyzer that can oxidize water to oxygen very rapidly. In fact, these KTH scientists are the first to reach speeds approximating those is nature's own photosynthesis. The research findings play a critical role for the future use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources.
Researchers all over the world, including the US, Japan, and the EU, have been working for more than 30 years on refining an artificial form of photosynthesis. The results have varied, but researchers had not yet succeeded in creating a sufficiently rapid solar-driven catalyzer for oxidizing water. "Speed has been the main problem, the bottleneck, when it comes to creating perfect artificial photosynthesis," says Licheng Sun, professor of organic chemistry at KTH.
But now, together with research colleagues, he has imitated natural photosynthesis and created a record-fast molecular catalyzer. The speed with which natural photosynthesis occurs is about 100 to 400 turnovers per seconds. The KTH have now reached over 300 turnovers per seconds with their artificial photosynthesis.
Originally posted by luciddream
reply to post by iforget
I see it being used in Space Exploration.
Can create a Biome more efficiently.
Designing solar cells to emit light -- so that photons do not become "lost" within a cell -- has the natural effect of increasing the voltage produced by the solar cell. "If you have a solar cell that is a good emitter of light, it also makes it produce a higher voltage," which in turn increases the amount of electrical energy that can be harvested from the cell for each unit of sunlight, Miller says.
The theory that luminescent emission and voltage go hand in hand is not new. But the idea had never been considered for the design of solar cells before now, Miller continues. This past year, a Bay area-based company called Alta Devices, co-founded by Yablonovitch, used the new concept to create a prototype solar cell made of gallium arsenide (GaAs), a material often used to make solar cells in satellites. The prototype broke the record, jumping from 26 percent to 28.3 percent efficiency.
The company achieved this milestone, in part, by designing the cell to allow light to escape as easily as possible from the cell -- using techniques that include, for example, increasing the reflectivity of the rear mirror, which sends incoming photons back out through the front of the device.