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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

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.


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Comments

  1. spam says:

    then != than

  2. Mac Cody says:

    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!

  3. “… 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!

    1. Adam Flaherty says:

      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!

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