According to Dutch researchers chlorosomes filled with chlorophyll in green bacteria may hold the secrets to more efficient solar technology. In plants, small antenna can hold up to 250,000 chlorophyll molecules that absorb sunlight.
The sunlight is then converted into chemical energy. The Dutch scientists are using concentric nanotubes to replicate the structure of plants at the microscopic level complete with high levels of chlorophyll inside the nanotubes.
The varied structures of the chlorosomes and chlorophyll mean that light can be absorbed in a wide range of wavelengths. In addition, the chlorophyll can even be activated in very low light conditions.
The key findings include a helical structure and dense packing of chlorophyll in the plants. This means more energy can be absorbed, yet the plant is protected from too much sunlight. The Dutch researchers hope to be able to create solar cells based upon these plant cell findings.