Iranian researchers use jellyfish protein for solar cells

TEHRAN, Jun. 19 (MNA) – Researchers at Sharif Uni. of Technology have optimized bio solar cells with the help of a kind of protein in jellyfish at a laboratorial scale in order to replace the older generations of solar cells.

Raheleh Mohammadpour, the project manager, said bio solar cells are a new generation of thin-layered solar cells with a structure and function similar to a leaf. She added the project aimed to optimize the performance of energy conversion in bio solar cells with the use of the new light-activated materials.

“The solar cells produced in this project have a much lower cost of production compared to the older generations of solar cells and their energy conversion efficiency has been reported much higher,” she said, adding “also, due to the fact that a large part of these cells are made of protein nanoparticles, they contain self-healing properties.”

“In this project, we used light-activated proteins such as bacteriorhodopsin (extracted from a kind of bacterium) and Green Fluorescent Protein (produced as a recombinant) in order to absorb light,” she explained.

Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is found in the jellyfish and is what makes the jellyfish glow in the dark. When a droplet of the GPF is placed onto aluminum electrodes and then exposed to ultraviolet light an electric current is generated that can be used for powering bio solar cells.

According to Mohammadpour, with further optimization of energy conversion, these cells can replace the older generations of solar cells in the near future.

The results of the research have been published in Biomass and Bioenergy, vol. 87, 2016, pp. 35-38.

 

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