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Issue 2, 2017
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On thermodynamic inconsistencies in several photosynthetic and solar cell models and how to fix them

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Abstract

We analyze standard theoretical models of solar energy conversion developed to study solar cells and photosynthetic systems. We show that assuming the energy transfer to the reaction center/electric circuit is through a decay rate or “sink”, contradicts the second law of thermodynamics. We put forward a thermodynamically consistent alternative by explicitly considering parts of the reaction center/electric circuit and by employing a Hamiltonian transfer. The predicted energy transfer by the new scheme differs from the one found using a decay rate, casting doubts on the validity of the conclusions obtained by models which include the latter.

Graphical abstract: On thermodynamic inconsistencies in several photosynthetic and solar cell models and how to fix them

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Sep 2016, accepted on 21 Oct 2016 and first published on 26 Oct 2016


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC04350J
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 1008-1014
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    On thermodynamic inconsistencies in several photosynthetic and solar cell models and how to fix them

    D. Gelbwaser-Klimovsky and A. Aspuru-Guzik, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 1008
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC04350J

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

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