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Bio-inspired Solar Energy

What can nature teach us about using energy from the sun?

Bio-inspired Solar Energy

Overview

Humans consume one trillion watts of energy annually, and the amount will double by 2050. The fossil fuels that we use to generate most of that energy contribute to global warming, making it vital that we develop renewable energy. This includes finding better ways of generating and storing energy from the Sun.

Fortunately, Nature has lessons to teach us. The process of photosynthesis, which plants use to turn the Sun’s energy into fuel, has been optimized over billions of years of evolution. CIFAR’s Bio-inspired Solar Energy program examines the lessons of photosynthetic organisms to create better ways of harvesting light energy, of transporting it, and of storing it.

The program brings together researchers from across disciplines to work on questions that could lead to more efficient solar panels, better batteries, new green fuels, and other technologies that will feed the world’s need for energy without contributing to climate change.

Founded in: 2014


Members: 22


Supporters:
Arthur J.E. Child Foundation Endowment Fund at the Calgary Foundation, Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation,Charles Hantho, Jerry and Geraldine Heffernan, Ivey Foundation, Max Bell Foundation, Metcalf Foundation


Partners:
Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT), Genome Canada


Disciplines:
Nanotechnology, including nanomaterials; physical and inorganic chemistry; polymer science; biophysics; chemical, molecular and quantum physics; optics; environmental engineering


CIFAR Director:
Daniel Bacinello

Fellows & Advisors

Program Director

GEU_VickyKaspi
Edward Sargent
Program Director

Edward Sargent’s research investigates the use of colloidal quantum dots to improve device performance and lower manufacturing costs.

 

Fellows

AlanAspuruGuzik

Alán Aspuru-Guzik

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of Toronto
  • Canada
BSE_CurtisBerlinguette

Curtis P. Berlinguette

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of British Columbia
  • Canada
Bio Outline

Christopher J. Chang

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of California Berkeley
  • United States
CatherineDrennan

Catherine L. Drennan

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • United States
BSE_RienkVanGrondelle

Rienk van Grondelle

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • VU University
  • The Netherlands
BSE_SharonHammes-schiffer

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Yale University
  • United States
BSE_MarioLeclerc

Mario Leclerc

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Université Laval
  • Canada
Bio Outline

Karl Leo

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • TU Dresden
  • Germany
BSE_ThomasMallouk

Thomas Mallouk

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • United States
BSE_GabrielaSchlauCohen

Gabriela Schlau-Cohen

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • United States
BSE_GregoryScholes

Gregory Scholes

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Princeton University
  • United States
Bio Outline

Aleksandra Vojvodic

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • United States
BSE_PeidongYang

Peidong Yang

  • Fellow
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of California Berkeley
  • United States

Advisors

Fraser Armstrong

Fraser Armstrong

  • Advisor
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Oxford University
  • United Kingdom

Richard Cogdell

  • Advisory Committee Chair
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Glasgow University
  • United Kingdom
Osamu Ishitani

Osamu Ishitani

  • Advisor
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Japan
Bio Outline

Shaffiq Jaffer

  • Advisor
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Total American Services
  • United States
BSE_VivianYam

Vivian Wing-Wah Yam

  • Advisor
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

BSE_NathanielGabor

Nathaniel Gabor

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of California Riverside
  • United States
Prineha Narang

Prineha Narang

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Harvard University
  • United States
BSE_GabrielaSchlauCohen

Gabriela Schlau-Cohen

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • United States
Yogi Surendranath

Yogesh Surendranath

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • United States
BSE_JeffreyWarren

Jeffrey J. Warren

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Canada
Jenny Yang

Jenny Yang

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
  • Bio-inspired Solar Energy
  • University of California Irvine
  • United States

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