Google Play icon

Chlorophyll harnessed for use in nanophotonic applications

Posted August 30, 2013
Chlorophyll harnessed for use in nanophotonic applications

Chlorophyll harnessed for use in nanophotonic applications
In plants (Figure 1) chlorophylls are bound to protein complexes, which then steer the organisation of chlorophylls in the structure. Although, the structure may look relatively chaotic from the outside, it is optimised for the photosynthetic process.

Researchers from Aalto University and the University of Helsinki are developing nanostructures in which chlorophylls are bound to synthetic materials. Chlorophyll is a true gift of nature to photonics, as it absorbs the wavelengths of blue and red colour from sunlight very efficiently.

The research project utilises chlorophyll extracted from green plants. Docent Juho Helaja’s research group at the University of Helsinki has extracted chlorophyll from such sources as spinach and cyanobacteria.

Chlorophylls require tailoring

It is not enough to merely extract chlorophyll molecules and place them in a test tube. It is essential to tailor molecules, i.e. modify them chemically into such a form that their functionality can be utilised in a non-biological environment. Doctoral Candidate Taru Nikkonen from the Department of Chemistry of the University of Helsinki is responsible for the extraction of chlorophyll derivatives from natural materials, as well as their synthetic modification.

The properties of modified chlorophylls can be controlled by altering the pigments’ volume and concentration in polymer matrices. The interaction between the molecules is dependent on the distance between molecules, which has a great influence on excitation dynamics of the molecules.

Read more at:

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
84,820 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (2 days old)
  2. Top NASA Manager Says the 2024 Moon Landing by Astronauts might not Happen (September 19, 2019)
  3. How social media altered the good parenting ideal (September 4, 2019)
  4. What's the difference between offensive and defensive hand grenades? (September 26, 2019)
  5. Just How Feasible is a Warp Drive? (September 25, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email