Adding plant proteins greatly enhances silicon solar cells (Image: Julie Turner/Vanderbilt)
A biohybrid solar cell (Image:Amrutur Anilkumar/Vanderbilt University)
Chemist David Cliffel, right, and graduate student Matt Casey (Image: Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt University)
Graph showing the results of doping (Image: Cliffel Lab/Vanderbilt University)
Biochemical engineer Kane Jennings (Image: Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt University)
Panel of biohybrid solar cells (Image: Amrutur Anilkumar/Vanderbilt University)
Popeye gets his strength from downing a can of spinach and what works for him also works for solar panels. Researchers at Vanderbilt University led by David Cliffel and Kane Jennings have come up with a way to dope silicon with a protein found in spinach to create a more efficient "biohybrid" solar cell that produces substantially more electrical current than previous efforts and may one day lead to cheaper, more efficient solar panels.
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