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Nat Commun. 2019 Jan 8;10(1):74. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08029-5.

Artificial light-driven ion pump for photoelectric energy conversion.

Author information

1
Department of Colloid Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, 14476, Potsdam, Germany. xiaokai@iccas.ac.cn.
2
Department of Colloid Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, 14476, Potsdam, Germany.
3
Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry, Beihang University, Beijing, 100191, PR China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, 2011-iChEM, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physic (DICP), Zhongshan Road 457, Dalian, 116023, PR China.
5
Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Materials and Interfacial Science, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, PR China.
6
School of Future Technologies, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 101407, PR China.

Abstract

Biological light-driven ion pumps move ions against a concentration gradient to create a membrane potential, thus converting sunlight energy directly into an osmotic potential. Here, we describe an artificial light-driven ion pump system in which a carbon nitride nanotube membrane can drive ions thermodynamically uphill against an up to 5000-fold concentration gradient by illumination. The separation of electrons and holes in the membrane under illumination results in a transmembrane potential which is thought to be the foundation for the pumping phenomenon. When used for harvesting solar energy, a sustained open circuit voltage of 550 mV and a current density of 2.4 μA/cm2 can reliably be generated, which can be further scaled up through series and parallel circuits of multiple membranes. The ion transport based photovoltaic system proposed here offers a roadmap for the development of devices by using simple, cheap, and stable polymeric carbon nitride.

PMID:
30622279
PMCID:
PMC6325115
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-08029-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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