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 photoswitches provide an extremely simple solution for solar energy conversion and storage. Here, the authors report on the assembly of an operational solar energy-storing organic-oxide hybrid interface, which consists of a tailor-made molecular photoswitch and an atomically-defined semiconducting oxide film.

    • Christian Schuschke
    • , Chantal Hohner
    • , Martyn Jevric
    • , Anne Ugleholdt Petersen
    • , Zhihang Wang
    • , Matthias Schwarz
    • , Miroslav Kettner
    • , Fabian Waidhas
    • , Lukas Fromm
    • , Christopher J. Sumby
    • , Andreas Görling
    • , Olaf Brummel
    • , Kasper Moth-Poulsen
    •  & Jörg Libuda
  • Research | | open

    The design of photoswitches which operate in the visible light regime, show a large separation of absorption bands and are functional in various solvents is challenging. Here the authors report Iminothioindoxyls as visible-light operated photoswitches with a band separation of 100 nm.

    • Mark W. H. Hoorens
    • , Miroslav Medved’
    • , Adèle D. Laurent
    • , Mariangela Di Donato
    • , Samuele Fanetti
    • , Laura Slappendel
    • , Michiel Hilbers
    • , Ben L Feringa
    • , Wybren Jan Buma
    •  & Wiktor Szymanski
  • 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
    • , Taizo Yoshinaga
    • , Junie Jhon M. Vequizo
    • , Hironori Matsunaga
    • , Chandana Sampath Kumara Ranasinghe
    • , Akira Yamakata
    • , Hiroyuki Matsuzaki
    • , Akihiro Furube
    •  & Toshiharu Teranishi

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