Use of solar energy based on the model of plants

Green plants have the particularity of using solar radiation directly to create their own energy. The known technologies used on solar panels manage to transform only a very small part of the radiation perceived into usable energy, unlike plants. Mr. Prof. Dr. Dirk Guldi of the Chair of Physical Chemistry I at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg has developed a new device which replaces the crystalline silicon layers used
until then to collect radiation by pipes at the scale of the carbon nanometer. The mini pipes will have molecular particles attached to them to look like microscopic branches with tiny leaves.

Mini carbon pipes are made of a single layer of carbon atoms coiled into a long, hollow cylinder with a hexagonal structure. Groups of molecules can be fixed on the outer wall using molecular hooks and a chain of hooks, a kind of ferrocene, a
complex of carbon rings around an iron atom, or porphyrin, a molecular class close to the chemical chlorophyll. These two kinds of constituent elements have a trend surplus of electrons and can easily drop an electron.

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When light hits the mini pipe, a negative charge driven by photons moves from the "leaves" to the stem. Before the device returns to its initial state, there is sufficient time to divert the displaced electrons and use them. The first bases necessary for
development of solar panels constructed using mini modified carbon pipes are thus in place.

- Teacher. Dr. Dirk M. Guldi, Lehrstuhl fur Physikalische Chemie I,
Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg - tel: +49 91318527340 -
Sources: Sachgebiet fur Offentlichkeit, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat
Erlangen-Nurnberg, 10 / 01 / 2005
Editor: Simone Gautier (CCUFB (

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