Material harvests light for energy by mimicking plants

Newsweek reports that scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

are one step closer to creating glass or textiles from man-made DNA that can absorb light—which could improve our use of solar energy through new types of materials. 

The technique is complicated but fascinating. Inspired by the structures that plants use to gather sunlight and turn it into energy, the material mimics circuitry found in nature for harvesting light, explained Mark Bathe, a biological engineer at MIT.

Bathe and colleagues created this first-of-its-kind material by placing dyes on a helix of synthetic DNA. That arrangement, built on a nanometer scale (one nanometer is 10,000 times as small as the thickness of a human hair), creates a tiny circuit that can convert sunlight into energy. The researchers published their work this week in Nature Materials.

Read more at Newsweek

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