From: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Published November 14, 2017 08:43 AM

Synthetic circuits can harvest light energy

By organizing pigments on a DNA scaffold, an MIT-led team of researchers has designed a light-harvesting material that closely mimics the structure of naturally occurring photosynthetic structures.

The researchers showed that their synthetic material can absorb light and efficiently transfer its energy along precisely controlled pathways. This type of structure could be incorporated into materials such as glass or textiles, enabling them to harvest or otherwise control incoming energy from sunlight, says Mark Bathe, an associate professor of biological engineering at MIT.

“This is the first demonstration of a purely synthetic mimic of a natural light-harvesting circuit that consists of densely packed clusters of dyes that are precisely organized spatially at the nanometer scale, as found in bacterial systems,” Bathe says. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter, or 1/10,000 the thickness of a human hair.

Read more at: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Image: By organizing pigments on a DNA scaffold, an MIT-led team of researchers has designed a light-harvesting material that closely mimics the structure of naturally occurring photosynthetic structures.

Courtesy of the researchers

 

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