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Solar Cells Made From Bioluminescent Jellyfish

Posted By Cameron Scott On September 8, 2010 @ 1:48 pm In Environment,Solar Power,Water Issues | 4 Comments

dye-sensitized solar cells, gfp, green fluorescent protein, oceans, solar power, sustainable design, jellyfish [1]

Swedish researchers have devised a way to turn bioluminescent jellyfish into solar cells [2]. It works like this: the green fluorescent protein (GFP) that makes the Aequorea victoria glow is simply dripped onto a silicon dioxide substrate between two electrodes. The protein works itself into strands between the electrodes. When ultraviolet light [3] is shined on the circuit, voila, the GFP absorbs photons and emits electrons, generating a current.

dye-sensitized solar cells, gfp, green fluorescent protein, oceans, solar power, sustainable design, jellyfish [4]

As much as Inhabitat is skeptical about using animals as raw materials, this is an intriguing discovery because jellyfish [5] are increasingly overpopulating the oceans as the waters become too toxic and acidified for more delicate species to bear. Using them to create carbon-neutral energy could potentially help restore the oceans to balance.

The GFP-powered cells work like dye-sensitized solar cells [6], but don’t require expensive materials such as titanium dioxide [7].

Via New Scientist [8] and PopSci [9]

Lead Photo © Ryan Kozie [10]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/solar-cells-made-from-bioluminescent-jellyfish/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/09/jellyfish-ed01.jpg

[2] solar cells: http://inhabitat.com/solar-power/

[3] ultraviolet light: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/30/lab-unveils-3-layered-solar-panel-that-catches-full-solar-spectrum/

[4] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/09/08/solar-cells-made-from-bioluminescent-jellyfish/gfp_structure/

[5] jellyfish: http://inhabitat.com/2008/03/15/crochet-coral-reef/

[6] dye-sensitized solar cells: http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/22/canadian-researchers-move-closer-to-affordable-efficient-solar-power/

[7] titanium dioxide: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/21/new-quantum-dot-solar-cells-could-double-efficiency/

[8] New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19416-green-machine-squeezing-solar-juice-from-jellyfish.html

[9] PopSci: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-09/swedish-researchers-look-jellyfish-create-solar-cells-green-goo

[10] Ryan Kozie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/baxterclaws/2038114777/

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