Photosynthetic protein based solar cells

In photosynthesis a protein complex absorbs photons and converts them to charge.  This process is achieved with extremely high quantum efficiency.  We are investigating several means of incorporating these protein reaction centres into photovoltaic devices.  The key is to efficiently extract charge from the reaction centres.  We are doing this using direct tunneling to electrodes or by passing charge to a mediator molecule that carries it to a selective electrode.  Ultimately we hope to demonstrate a very low cost method for converting solar to electrical energy.

The student will help with the design, implementation and testing of the solar cells.  Duties include analysis of the ultimate efficiency of various designs, testing of solar electrodes, assistance with the design of solid state solar cells, device modeling and/or measurement of device performance.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. John D.W. Madden


Ankur Kaul



Engineering - computer / electrical


Alternative energy


University of British Columbia


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