Retired from Free University Berlin, Institute for Physical Chemistry, and from Helmholtz-Center Berlin for Materials and Energy.
Energy materials: What strategies did nature pursue?
Version of Record online: 19 FEB 2014
© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
physica status solidi (a)
Volume 211, Issue 9, pages 2052–2062, September 2014
How to Cite
Tributsch, H. (2014), Energy materials: What strategies did nature pursue?. Phys. Status Solidi A, 211: 2052–2062. doi: 10.1002/pssa.201330410
- Issue online: 8 SEP 2014
- Version of Record online: 19 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 3 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 28 OCT 2013
- energy materials;
Nature looks back at a long evolution of successful energy materials, which have especially been adapted to deal with small energy quantities from the environment. Few basic organic materials, such as cellulose, chitin and keratin have been selected and highly diversified, mostly via nano-and micro-technological modifications. A similar strategy occurred with inorganic compounds, such as silica, hydroxyapatite, or calcium carbonate. Others were precisely tailored to support well-defined strategies such as, for example, the kinetic solar cell principle, ionic energy converters, water splitting, quantum light collection, encapsulation, or fire resistance. In an attempt to learn from nature relevant aspects of biological energy conversion, relevant materials are analyzed and discussed. By looking at them we can more critically judge present technical–industrial developments and recognize unexploited energy and material technologies.
This is a tree-fungus of unidentified name growing on hazelnut. With chitin in its cell walls, it is a marvel in enzyme mediated energy catalysis for converting and upgrading of polysaccharides including cellulose. Its astonishing surface structure is reflecting self-organization with fractal, self-similar patterns.