A very interesting idea that has broad implications for human beings and our technology.
Future Motors to Harness Light Like Plants
The secrets of photosynthesis are unlocked to make new solar cells, storage devices or even engines.
What if you could build a machine that runs on light. Plants do it just fine -- think photosynthesis -- with 100 percent efficiency. Solar cells use silicon conductors to capture sunlight, but only have efficiency rates from 6 to 25 percent.
"Plants are machines that have all the sophistication of a Boeing 777," said Greg Scholes, professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto. "They have thousands of feedback control loops making adjustments every second. That's the kind of machine we would aspire to make."
The plant-inspired devices "would be something that does not exist right now," explained Scholes. "We do a lot with electricity, we do a lot with optical light, we don't do anything in between where the energy of light is converted into the excitation of matter."
Read more at news.discovery.comAt the heart of Scholes' plan -- outlined in a review paper published today in Nature Chemistry -- is making a biological-based circuit that uses the quantum mechanical effects of light as it excites molecules of pigments and colors found in nature. Harnessing this ephemeral form of energy could lead to new kinds of energy sources, storage devices and electronic circuits.