A group from Vanderbilt University, lead by Professor David Cliffel, claims that a protein found in spinach, called PS1, when combined with silicon found in solar panels to form a biohybrid cell, end up being 2.5 times more efficient than cells lacking the protein. The reaction was first discovered decades ago, but hasn’t been explored in detail until just recently. [via technabob]

Adam Flaherty

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on makezine.com. If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.

  • spam

    then != than

  • Mac Cody

    Okay, everyone, let’s sing…

    I’m Popeye the solar cell,
    my currents the best, they tell,
    from silicon doping
    and spinach-based protein.
    I’m Popeye the solar cell!

  • http://twitter.com/errorad M Lange (@errorad)

    “… end up being 2.5 times more efficient than [biohybrid] cells lacking the protein.” From the summary, I thought they had hit the jackpot and were outpowering manmade solar cells (i.e. ‘cells that lacked the protein’)… That would, indeed, be front-page, late-breaking news ;-)

    While it’s a great technology, and certainly blog-worthy, it’s still nowhere near the current output of manmade solar cells (or the front page of the papers); though “[i]f we can continue on our current trajectory of increasing voltage and current levels, we could reach the range of mature solar conversion technologies in three years.”

    Thanks for posting it, Adam!

    • Adam Flaherty

      Yeah, I tried to be specific with the headline. I also link to the actual research, which I hope anybody interested in this would check out. Appreciate your comment!