Supercomputing Materials to Harvest the Sun

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Researchers are using the TACC Ranger supercomputer to investigate photosynthetic materials with their sights on creating a light-harvesting material that can turn sunlight into chemical energy.

By using computation, we can understand the properties and the behavior of this molecule and gain insight into improving it,” said Margaret Cheung, Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Houston. “If we can capture the mechanism that converts solar energy into chemical fuel, it opens the door to many opportunities.”

To enable her research, Cheung uses Ranger to explore the role that confinement, temperature, and solvents play in the stability and energy efficiency of the light-harvesting triad. Her results provide a way to test, tailor, and engineer nano-capsules with embedded triads that, when combined in large numbers, could greatly increase the ability to produce clean energy. Read the Full Story.