CHAPTER 14: Light Harvesting Strategies Inspired by Nature
Published:02 Oct 2013
E. Ostrumov, C. Jumper, and G. Scholes, in Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: Materials, Processes and Architectures, ed. H. Lewerenz and L. Peter, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013, pp. 389-405.
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Solar energy can be stored using various mechanisms, among which the electrochemical and photochemical energy conversion reactions are of the most interest due to their higher efficiency. These reactions can be divided in two phases: collection of the sunlight energy and conversion of the collected energy into a solar fuel (chemical compounds or electricity). The most well-known photochemical process on earth is photosynthesis. The efficiency of light harvesting in photosynthetic organisms is well above 90%, making them a perfect model for artificial photochemical devices. In this chapter, the strategies of sunlight collection and energy transfer used by natural systems, are described. Application of these strategies in artificial photochemical reactions can substantially improve their efficiency and performance.