Red algae are amongst the most efficient converters of sunlight into energy. Image: Johnmartindavies [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
What we can learn from algae to improve photovoltaic cells - life short science news

As algae manage to use and store solar energy more efficiently than any other organism (up to 98%), biochemists have set out to determine how algae do this precisely.

They found that algae have many protrusions (antennae) on their surface, that are made up of stacks of tiny disks. Inside each disk there is a gamma building block that passes light efficiently into the light harvesting system. The efficiency may further be enhanced by the presence of at least four different gamma blocks, making it possible to capture light under all circumstances.

Perhaps that the light capture system of algae could be used as a blueprint for the next generation of photovoltaic cells.

Read the full story: Utrecht University
Scientific publication: Chem