HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Green, leafy spinach may soon power cellphones and laptops

For the first time, MIT researchers have incorporated a plant's ability to convert sunlight to energy into a solid-state electronic "spinach sandwich" device that may one day power laptops and cell phones.

At the heart of the device is a protein complex dubbed Photosystem I (PSI). Derived from spinach chloroplasts, PSI is 10 to 20 nanometers wide. Around 100,000 of them would fit on the head of a pin. "They are the smallest electronic circuits I know of," said researcher Marc A. Baldo, assistant professor of electronic engineering and computer science at MIT.

Baldo and other researchers from MIT, the University of Tennessee and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, including electrical and biomedical engineers, nanotechnology experts and biologists, collaborated on the world's first solid-state photosynthetic solar cell. The work was reported in NanoLetters, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

"We have crossed the first hurdle of successfully integrating a photosynthetic protein molecular complex with a solid-state electronic device," Baldo said.

Plants' ability to generate energy has been optimized by evolution, so a spinach plant is extremely efficient, churning out a lot of energy relative to its size and weight. But combining biological and non-biological materials in one device has stymied researchers in the past. Biological materials need water and salt to survive-both are deadly for electronics.

FROM WET TO DRY

A new twist in the current work is a membrane of peptide surfactants-similar to the main ingredient in soap-that helped the photosynthetic complexes self-assemble and stabilize while the circuit was fabricated.

So far, scientists and engineers' efforts to harness the photosynthetic properties of green plants have been most successful with naturally soft organic materials in liquid solutions. But if organic solar cells are to be practical for commercial device
'"/>

Contact: Denise Brehm
brehm@mit.edu
617-253-2704
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Green, black tea extracts found to lower cholesterol
2. New standard on the menu, certified slurried spinach
3. Making a safer anthrax vaccine using spinach
4. Wastewater could treat itself, power city
5. ASU researchers demonstrate new technique that improves the power of atomic force micrscopy
6. Coordinating power of circadian rhythms keeps estrus and pregnancy on track
7. FDA approves VYTORIN, first and only to powerfully reduce LDL cholesterol through dual inhibition
8. Spanish scientists develop powerful tool for exploration and integration of biological information
9. Volcanic soils yield new clues about the emergence of powerful chiefdoms in Hawaii
10. Motion that powers sperm provides key to unravelling rare genetic disorder
11. Ethanol to power the future of hydrogen fuel cells

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as ... Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video ... trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical ... mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma ... in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: