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Chemistry: The photon trap

Chemists have long wanted to recreate photosynthesis in the lab — and to improve on its efficiency at converting sunlight into fuel. Katharine Sanderson reports on their latest efforts.


  1. Lewis, N. S. & Nocera, D. G. [journal]PNAS[/journal] [volume]103[/volume], [pages]15729–15735[/pages] ([copyright]2006[/copyright]).

  2. Khaselev, O. & Turner, J. [journal]Science[/journal] [volume]280[/volume], [pages]425–427[/pages] ([copyright]1998[/copyright]).

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See also Correspondence: "Mimicking photosynthesis, but just the best bits":

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Powering the Planet

Photosynthetic efficiency

Artificial photosynthesis

Nate Lewis, Powering the Planet


Electrons in photosynthesis

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Sanderson, K. Chemistry: The photon trap. Nature 452, 400–402 (2008).

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