RUS | ENG | All
Enter the email or login, that you used for registration.
If you do not remember your password, simply leave this field blank and you will receive a new, along with a link to activate.

Not registered yet?
Welcome!

2020-03-02 12:20:00

RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN

RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN

PHYS.ORG- FEBRUARY 27, 2020 - Scientists at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia) have created a new type of solar panel based on hybrid material consisting of quantum dots (QDs) and photosensitive protein. The creators believe that it has great potential for solar energy and optical computing.

The results of the MEPhI study were published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

Archaeal proteins of unicellular organisms, bacteriorhodopsin, can convert the energy of light into the energy of chemical bonds (like chlorophyll in plants). This occurs due to the transfer of a positive charge through the cell membrane. Bacteriorhodopsin acts as a proton pump, which makes it a ready-to-use natural element of the solar panel.

A key difference between bacteriorhodopsin and chlorophyll is its ability to operate without oxygen, allowing the archaea to live in very aggressive environments like the depths of the Dead Sea. This ability has evolutionarily led to their high chemical, thermal, and optical stability. At the same time, by pumping protons, bacteriorhodopsin changes color many times in a billionth of a second. This is why it is a promising material for creating holographic processing units.

Scientists of MEPhI have been able to significantly improve the properties of bacteriorhodopsin by binding it to quantum dots (QDs)—semiconductor nanoparticles capable of concentrating light energy on a scale of just a few nanometers and transmitting it to bacteriorhodopsin without emitting light.

"We have created a highly efficient, operating photosensitive cell that generates electrical current by converting light under very low photon excitation. Under normal conditions, such a cell doesn't work because photosensitive molecules such as bacteriorhodopsin effectively absorb light only in a very narrow energy range. But quantum dots do this in a very wide range and can even convert two lower-energy photons into one high-energy photon as if stacking them," a researcher at MEPhI and one of the authors of the study, Viktor Krivenkov said.

According to the researcher, creating conditions for the radiation of high-energy photon, a quantum dot may not radiate it but rather transmit it to bacteriorhodopsin. Thus, MEPhI scientists have engineered a cell capable of operating under the irradiation from the near-infrared to the ultraviolet regions of the optical spectrum.

"We use an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of chemistry, biology, particle physics and photonics. Quantum dots are produced using chemical synthesis methods, then they are coated with molecules that make their surface simultaneously biocompatible and charged, after which they are bound to the surface of the archean bacteriorhodopsin -containing purple membranes of Halobacterium salinarum. As a result, we have obtained hybrid complexes with very high (about 80%) efficiency of excitation energy transfer from quantum dots to bacteriorhodopsin," the leading scientist of the MEPhI Nano-Bioengineering Laboratory, Igor Nabiev said.

According to the researchers, the obtained results show the potential for creating highly effective photosensitive elements based on biostructures. They may be used, not only to provide solar energy, but also in optical computing.

The authors emphasized the very high quality of the bio-hybrid nanostructured material and the prospect of surpassing the best commercial samples with a possible increase in efficiency by a substantial margin. The next goal of the research team in this direction is to optimize the structure of the photosensitive cell.

----- 

Tags: RUSSIA, SOLAR, POWER
Chronicle:
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 9, 12:04:00
HYDROGEN RUSSIA AND CIS, Moscow, 20-21 October 2021
International Conference and Exhibition ‘Hydrogen Russia and CIS’ brings together more than 200 senior executives of hydrogen production plants from Russia and the CIS
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 9, 12:00:00
ARGENTINA'S NUCLEAR SMR
Before work was suspended, it was in line to be the world’s first operating SMR. The government licensed it as a prototype in 2009.
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 9, 11:55:00
CHILE'S COAL GENERATION DOWN
In June 2021, the Chamber of Deputies of Chile has approved a bill that prohibits the installation and operation of coal-fired power plants.
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 8, 12:50:00
OIL PRICE: NEAR $73
Brent slipped by 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $73.20 a barrel, WTI were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $71.87 a barrel.
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 8, 12:45:00
OIL PRICES 2021-22: $72-$67
We expect rising production will reduce the persistent global oil inventory draws that have occurred for much of the past year and keep prices similar to current levels, averaging $72/b during the second half of 2021 (2H21).
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 8, 12:40:00
EUROPE CLIMATE RULES
According to draft proposals seen by market sources, the CBAM will replace the current system of free carbon allowances for metals sectors, and tighten allowances in the European Emissions Trading System generally, a bone of contention for some.
RUSSIA'S SOLAR PROTEIN
2021, July, 8, 12:35:00
ASIA INDEXES DOWN ANEW
The Hang Seng index (.HSI) led losses with a 1.9% drop, its eighth consecutive session in the red, with more falls in internet giants Tencent (0700.HK), Meituan (3690.HK) and Alibaba (9988.HK) as the sector reels from sweeping Chinese regulatory scrutinty.
All Publications »