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Semi-Artificial Photosynthesis - Solar Energy

Solar Energy Research: Scientists Develop New Form of Solar Power

We are thrilled to share the most recent solar energy research completed by St. John’s College, University of Cambridge.

A team of scientists have used semi-artificial photosynthesis to develop a new method to capture the sun’s energy utilising our FS5 Spectrofluorometer and SC-30 Integrating Sphere accessory as part of their research.

This new method which alters how plants conduct photosynthesis, captures the power of the sun and effectively splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The research which was published in Nature Energy could revolutionise the production of renewable energy.

Katarzyna Soko, the first author on the paper and a PhD student at St John’s, said: “Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed – around 1-2% of what it could potentially convert and store.”

Whilst semi artificial photosynthesis combines the strengths of natural photosynthesis with synthetic chemistry and materials science to develop model systems to overcome the restrictions of natural photosynthesis it isn’t used for renewable energy because of its reliance on expensive and toxic catalysts which prevents it being used on an industrial scale. This study uses enzymes instead of such catalysts and is part of a growing field of semi-artificial photosynthesis.

As highlighted in the report’s instrumentation referencing, UV-vis absorption spectra were recorded on our FS5 spectrofluorometer in conjunction with the SC-30 Integrating Sphere accessory to carry out diffuse reflectance measurements to find out absorbance of their materials. Absorption is a complimentary and secondary capability of the FS5 after traditional fluorescence and highlights the versatility of the instrument.

Download the full paper on the latest Solar Energy Research

The full paper entitled “Bias-free photoelectrochemical water splitting with photosystem II on a dye-sensitized photoanode wired to hydrogenase” can be downloaded at nature.com

FS5 Spectrofluorometer

The FS5 is a fully integrated, purpose built spectrofluorometer designed and engineered to the highest standards of sensitivity, acquisition, speed, ease of use and sampling flexibility. From single photons to multiple measurements, discover the FS5. If you wish to find out more about how the instrument can be maximised for use within your own research, please contact us and one of sales team will be in touch to assist you with your enquiry.

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