Light harvesting

Light harvesting is the study of materials and molecules that capture photons of solar light. This includes studies to better understand the light-harvesting properties of photosynthetic organisms or those of artificial systems that are designed and synthesised to promote photochemical reactions or produce solar fuels.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Molecular motion has attracted a wide range of interest for different applications. Here, the authors develop nanoparticles with internal molecular motion upon near infrared absorption and use the nanoparticles for photoacoustic imaging and demonstrate this application in vivo.

    • Zheng Zhao
    • , Chao Chen
    • , Wenting Wu
    • , Fenfen Wang
    • , Lili Du
    • , Xiaoyan Zhang
    • , Yu Xiong
    • , Xuewen He
    • , Yuanjing Cai
    • , Ryan T. K. Kwok
    • , Jacky W. Y. Lam
    • , Xike Gao
    • , Pingchuan Sun
    • , David Lee Phillips
    • , Dan Ding
    •  & Ben Zhong Tang
  • Research | | open

    Infrared-light-induced carrier transfer is a key technology for ‘invisible’ optical devices, but making materials with the right properties remains a challenge. Here, the authors fabricate a clear and colourless material which converts infrared light to an electrical signal or energy based on a localized surface plasmon resonance, with implications for the development of invisible optical devices.

    • Masanori Sakamoto
    • , Tokuhisa Kawawaki
    • , Masato Kimura
    • , Junie Jhon M. Vequizo
    • , Hironori Matsunaga
    • , Chandana Sampath Kumara Ranasinghe
    • , Akira Yamakata
    • , Hiroyuki Matsuzaki
    • , Akihiro Furube
    •  & Toshiharu Teranishi
  • Research | | open

    Homo Förster resonance energy transfer is a key process in natural photosynthesis, among other systems, but model systems for this process are complicated by emission from both donor and acceptor. Here desymmetrisation of identical chromophores within DNA allows quantitative study of the distance and orientation dependence of homo-FRET.

    • Hiromu Kashida
    • , Hayato Kawai
    • , Ryoko Maruyama
    • , Yuta Kokubo
    • , Yasuyuki Araki
    • , Takehiko Wada
    •  & Hiroyuki Asanuma
  • Research | | open

    There is a continual pursuit for different ways to detect counterfeiting in today’s society. Here the authors show photo-responsive supramolecular polymers can be used in fluorescent anti-counterfeit applications, by taking advantage of multicycle anthracene‒endoperoxide switching properties.

    • Zhao Gao
    • , Yifei Han
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Research | | open

    Current ultraviolet (UV) sensors cannot differentiate between UVA, B and C, each of which has a remarkably different impact on human health. Here the authors show spectrally-selective colorimetric monitoring of ultraviolet radiations by developing a photoelectrochromic ink that consists of a multiredox polyoxometalate and an e donor.

    • Wenyue Zou
    • , Ana González
    • , Deshetti Jampaiah
    • , Rajesh Ramanathan
    • , Mohammad Taha
    • , Sumeet Walia
    • , Sharath Sriram
    • , Madhu Bhaskaran
    • , José M. Dominguez-Vera
    •  & Vipul Bansal
  • Research | | open

    Sunlight-harvesting materials require the clean integration of light-absorbing and catalytic components to be efficient. Here, authors link silicon photoelectrodes and molybdenum sulfide catalysts with defect-free gallium nitride nanowire to improve photoelectrochemical hydrogen evolution.

    • Baowen Zhou
    • , Xianghua Kong
    • , Srinivas Vanka
    • , Sheng Chu
    • , Pegah Ghamari
    • , Yichen Wang
    • , Nick Pant
    • , Ishiang Shih
    • , Hong Guo
    •  & Zetian Mi

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The flow of energy in Earth's primary light harvesters — photosynthetic pigment–protein complexes — needs to be heavily regulated, as the sun's energy supply can vary over many orders of magnitude. Observing hundreds of individual light-harvesting complexes has now provided important insights into the machinery that regulates this process.

    • Peter J. Walla
    Nature Chemistry 9, 728-730
  • News and Views |

    The process of electronic energy transfer between molecules has long fascinated chemists. Femtosecond spectroscopy measurements of a series of molecular dimers now reveal signals that arise from non-Born–Oppenheimer coupling, suggesting a new mechanism to enhance energy transfer.

    • Daniel B. Turner
    Nature Chemistry 9, 196-197
  • News and Views |

    For many years, chemists have tried and failed to find efficient light-harvesting molecules based on Earth-abundant, environmentally friendly iron. Now, an iron complex has been developed with photoluminescent properties that are tuned to efficiently convert light to electrons.

    • Elena Galoppini
    Nature Chemistry 7, 861-862
  • News and Views |

    Pigment assemblies with high-efficiency electronic energy transfer have recently been observed to show unusual and persistent coherence, but its origin is not fully understood. Now, a combination of 2D electronic spectroscopy and theoretical modelling has allowed the excitonic coherence signal of a strongly coupled homodimer to be isolated.

    • Vivek Tiwari
    • , William K. Peters
    •  & David M. Jonas
    Nature Chemistry 6, 173-175