Limits on Natural Photosynthesis

Rienk van Grondelle, Egbert Boeker

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Photosynthesis in nature does not use the far infrared part of the solar spectrum (lambda > 900 nm), comprising about 30% of the incoming solar energy. By simple thermodynamic arguments it is explained that this is due to the unavoidable back reactions during the night. It follows that lambda approximate to 900 nm provides a natural limit on artificial photosynthesis. The same limit holds for a two-tandem Si solar cell.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7229-7234
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2017


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