The Nano Factor


Scientists envisage building systems for conversion of solar energy to electric energy, mimicking the basic chlorophyll structures of green bacteria. A study revealed each bacterial cell consists of structures called chlorosomes, each of which has 250,000 chlorophyll molecules. The molecules are arranged in pairs called dimers. The dimers fit like concentric rings one above the other, much like a nanotube. The study, published in the May 4 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explained it is this orientation of the chlorophyll molecules that works. These bacteria exist in near-dark environments such as deep inside hot springs. It logically follows their photosynthetic systems, though primitive, are good enough to harvest the weak beams of light they make do with.


Down To Earth, June 2009