Photovoltaic concepts inspired by coherence effects in photosynthetic systems

Jean Luc Brédas, Edward H. Sargent, Gregory D. Scholes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


The past decade has seen rapid advances in our understanding of how coherent and vibronic phenomena in biological photosynthetic systems aid in the efficient transport of energy from light-harvesting antennas to photosynthetic reaction centres. Such coherence effects suggest strategies to increase transport lengths even in the presence of structural disorder. Here we explore how these principles could be exploited in making improved solar cells. We investigate in depth the case of organic materials, systems in which energy and charge transport stand to be improved by overcoming challenges that arise from the effects of static and dynamic disorder-structural and energetic-and from inherently strong electron-vibration couplings. We discuss how solar-cell device architectures can evolve to use coherence-exploiting materials, and we speculate as to the prospects for a coherent energy conversion system. We conclude with a survey of the impacts of coherence and bioinspiration on diverse solar-energy harvesting solutions, including artificial photosynthetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalNature materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 20 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Photovoltaic concepts inspired by coherence effects in photosynthetic systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this