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Institut des Matériaux de Paris Centre
IMPC - Fédération de Recherche 2482

Séminaire M. J. Llansola-Portoles

Mardi 19/09/2017 (11h00, Jussieu, salle 32.42-101.103)

Manuel J. Llansola-Portoles, CEA _ Centre d'études de Saclay

Séminaire invité

Learning from nature: principle to power and sustain the modern world

Humankind is facing an energy challenge: the urgent need to find a clean source of energy that is able to fulfil our growing demands for energy and at the same time reduce the actual overwhelming CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which is higher than any time in history (> 410 ppm). The use of solar photons is one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels due to solar energy is widely available, clean, safe, renewable and can be used for energy production in synergy to carbon fixation. In Nature, Photosynthesis is the process by which solar photons are converted into chemical energy to be used by organisms to live. Photosynthetic organisms, plants, algae, photosynthetic bacteria, employ solar energy to live and multiply, being this process at the basis of nearly all the biomass (and fossil fuels) present on our planet. Therefore, photosynthesis is the link between the Sun and life on Earth by producing energy and capturing CO2. Under optimal conditions, photosynthetic energy and charge transfer processes present remarkable high quantum efficiency close to one. Hence photosynthesis contains the key design features to create artificial systems capable to use efficiently the solar energy for fulfilling the humankind needs. In one view, the overall structures of artificial photosynthetic constructs would resemble to some extent the photosynthetic membranes where antenna pigments convert solar photons to excited states, and regulate the flow of excitation energy to reaction centers. Learning from the molecular mechanisms of photosynthesis should bring the key features necessaries to design artificial photosynthetic systems capable to mimic or even improve Nature. Due to this reason, photosynthesis is the biological process most studied in the world, and at this moment most of their strategies for increasing quantum efficiency are fairly clarifies. However, there are still some of the most important phenomena observed like quantum effects or vibrational effects, whose role still needs to be determined. In this seminar, I will go over the mechanisms already known for energy transfer and stabilization, and describe the current challenges in the photosynthetic world. Finally, I will go over some of the state of the art bioinspired artificial photosynthetic systems and the new challenges for the future.


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