Deep sea bacteria could provide breakthroughs for solar panels

simonhamer:

Solar starting to get into the news.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Bacteria that live almost a mile under the surface of the ocean, where light is scare, have adapted biological ways to harness tiny amounts of light very efficiently, and in some cases can use photosynthesis to convert 100 percent of the light they find into electricity. In contrast a typical solar panel commonly converts around 15 percent of sunlight into electricity.

Now researchers at the University of Cambridge are studying the light-harvesting proteins of the deep sea Green Sulfur Bacteria to see if they can provide breakthroughs for solar energy and other electricity devices. The research is in an area called quantum biology, and the scientists say it falls outside of ‘classical’ physics, and into quantum physics.

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Organisms that do photosynthesis use a network of pigments held in place by protein structures, or what scientists call pigment-protein complexes, where electrons are harvested. In many organisms as the electrons move through…

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