Photosynthesis

College faculty and alumni contribute to new DOE 60$M Solar Fuel Research

July 31, 2020

New partnership between DOE national labs and universities builds on JCAP’s advances in artificial photosynthesis, renewable fuels 

New solar material test

Scientists at JCAP create new materials by spraying combinations of elements onto thin plates. (Image courtesy of Caltech)

The Secret to Renewable Solar Fuels Is an Off-and-On Again Relationship

July 21, 2020

analysis of copper ore

From alum Walter Drisdell's lab at LBL: new research published in the journal ACS Catalysis exams experiments performed vis X-ray spectroscopy on working solar fuel generator prototypes to demonstrate that catalysts made from copper oxide are superior to purely metallic-origin catalysts when it comes to producing ethylene, a two-carbon gas with a huge range of industrial applications – even after there are no detectable oxygen atoms left in the catalyst.

Meet our faculty: Naomi Ginsberg

May 21, 2020

Naomi Ginsberg

Naomi Ginsberg, professor of chemistry and physics at UC Berkeley, credits her love of learning as the driving force behind her unusual academic journey. In her first year of college, she studied engineering because it was, as she explains it, “technical, but also creative.” However, a summer research internship studying magnetic resonance—a backbone of modern medical imaging— opened her eyes to creative problem solving in basic science.

Blue diode illustrates limitations, promise of perovskite semiconductors

January 24, 2020

Halide perovskite crystal that emits blue light. Courtesy Peidong Yang.

University of California, Berkeley, scientists have created a blue light-emitting diode (LED) from a trendy new semiconductor material, halide perovskite, overcoming a major barrier to employing these cheap, easy-to-make materials in electronic devices.

UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will one day make windows work like solar panels

January 29, 2018

Peidong YangA breakthrough by Peidong Yang could one day help tall buildings use dramatically less energy, by using their windows to generate electricity. For the full story visit ABC7 News.

Scientists introduce a new framework for artificial photosynthesis

June 24, 2019

artificial photosynthesisScientists have long sought to mimic the process by which plants make their own fuel using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water through artificial photosynthesis devices, but how exactly substances called catalysts work to generate renewable fuel remains a mystery.

Omar Yaghi wins BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences

January 23, 2018

Omar YaghiThe BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences category goes, in this tenth edition, to Jordanian-American chemist Omar Yaghi, “for his pioneering work in the conception and synthesis of new cry

Harvesting solar fuels through a bacterium’s unusual appetite for gold

October 5, 2018

CRISPR/Cas12a system. Photo courtesy C&EN, Illusciences.

M. thermoacetica first made its debut as the first non-photosensitive bacterium to carry out artificial photosynthesis in a study led by Peidong Yang, a professor in UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry. By attaching light-absorbing nanoparticles made of cadmium sulfide (CdS) to the bacterial membrane exterior, the researchers turned M. thermoacetica into a tiny photosynthesis machine, converting sunlight and carbon dioxide into useful chemicals.