Scientists create most powerful micro-scale bio-solar cell yet

Binghamton University

November, 2017
Scientists create most powerful micro-scale bio-solar cell yet

Researchers at Binghamton University have created a micro-scale biological solar cell that generates a higher power density for longer than any existing cell of its kind.

According to Binghamton University Electrical and Computer Science Assistant Professor Seokheun Choi, a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip system that generates its own power is essential for stand-alone, independent, self-sustainable point-of-care diagnostic devices to work in limited-resource and remote regions. Choi is developing a new way to create electricity using bacteria, with his small, paper-based batteries and microbial fuel cells aimed to one day replace oil, coal and even solar energy.

Choi and Ph.D. candidate Lin Liu created a microscale microfluidic biological solar cell that can attain high electrical power and long-term operational capability, which will provide a practical and sustainable power supply for lab-on-a-chip applications.

“Micro-BSCs can continuously generate electricity from microbial photosynthetic and respiratory activities over day-night cycles, offering a clean and renewable power source with self-sustaining potential,” explained Choi. “The device will release biological photo-energy conversion technology from its restriction to conceptual research and advance its translational potential toward practical and sustainable power applications for point-of-care diagnostics to work independently and self-sustainably in limited-resource and remote regions.”

To learn more about this project, click here.

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