Scientists find a new way to harness the sun’s energy

Scientists find a new way to harness the sun's energy
Credit: Neal Woodbury and Hao Yan.

In a new study, researchers have found a new way to harnesses the sun’s energy to generate fuel while minimizing CO2 production.

The research was conducted by a team from Arizona State University.

Currently, the demand for energy is increasing, and levels of CO2 in the atmosphere from deforestation and the use of fossil fuels is rising.

It is important to find a way to generate sources of energy that didn’t generate CO2.

In the current study, the team developed artificial photosynthesis to generate sources of clean energy.

They have found big progress in optimizing systems that mimic the first stage of photosynthesis. This can help capture and harness light energy from the sun.

The team developed a way to use DNA to self-assemble structures, which can act as templates for assembling molecular complexes with almost unlimited control over size, shape, and function.

They aggregated dye molecules in structures that captured and transferred energy over tens of nanometers. The efficiency loss was less than 1% per nanometer.

The new technology could efficiently transfer light energy over long distances from the place where it is absorbed and the place where it will be used.

Currently, the lab is trying to examine biomimetic light-harvesting complexes based on self- assembled dye-DNA nanostructures.

They plan to use the photonic principles that underlie natural light harvesting complexes to construct programmable structures based on DNA self-assembly.

The researchers suggest that their new finding may help develop a new way of capturing the energy and transferring it over longer distances without net loss.

It may help design more efficient energy conversion systems that will reduce the current dependency on fossil fuels.

One author of the study is  David G. Whitten of the University of New Mexico, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

The study is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

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