A study has combined both physics and Photosynthesis to propose a new way to build more efficient Solar cells. Although Nathan Garbor´s main research focus was condensed particle physics, the greenish physical characteristic of plants made change divert his attention to the process of photosynthesis. In the past years, he has related his knowledge on physics with biology. Although solar cells are able to store some of the sun´s energy, they cannot match the efficiency by which plants are able to store the same source of energy, he has been pondering.


This process describes the mechanism that plants use to convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy. Most plants, including algae ad cyanobacteria, perform photosynthesis that begins when the sun´s light is absorbed by proteins (action centers) that contain chlorophyll pigments. The stored energy undergoes chemical reactions that are used by plants as food. Carbon dioxide and water, plus sun´s light are used to produce oxygen and carbohydrates.

More efficient energy-photosynthesis-quantum cells

The dilemma is if it is possible or not to design efficient solar cells that can harness the sun´s energy as efficiently as plants do. Currently, solar cells are 20 percent efficient at utilizing the sun´s energy, resulting in a lot of wasted energy.

To address this waste of energy. Researchers designed a quantum engine photocell that integrates a heat engine photocell that absorbs photons and turns them into electricity. This mechanism can regulate the conversion of on energy into another without the need of regulating mechanisms.

In standard photovoltaic technology, solar power variations have to be controlled by voltage converters and feedback controllers, reducing the total efficiency.

The main objective is to build the simplest photocell that corresponds to the amounts of solar energy and power demands, suppressing the fluctuations in energy and preventing the accumulation of excess power.

Light harvesting quantum cell

In this system photons efficiently produce electrons by two absorbing channels through where solar power enters the system and energy is stored in a machine.

The principle is that one channel absorbs the energy of a given wavelength when the average input power is high and the other channel does the same when the average input power is low. The photocell switches between high and low power, converting the level of solar power. Comparing this mechanism to that of the photosynthesis, researchers discovered that the absorption spectrum seems identical to that of the spectrum observed in photosynthetic plants.

Researchers discovered that the quantum heat engine photocell mechanism possesses a similar role to that of photosynthesis in plants, explaining the predominance of the color green on plants. Other studies shave revealed that chlorophyll and the molecules a, and b, could prevent the accumulation of excess energy in plants, thus preventing their decease.