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Comparing Photosynthesis and Semiconductor Based Solar Cells

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Assignment 1
Jon Barberio
Professor James Smith
SCI 115
April 22, 2012

There are many similarities and also many differences when comparing photosynthesis and semiconductor based solar cells this paper will outline those these as well as give a description of the two cycles. I will also be defining the law of thermodynamics and explaining how it applies to photosynthesis and also semiconductor based solar cells harnessing solar energy.
Photosynthesis is the process of converting solar energy into chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates. For photosynthesis to occur a few factors must be present such as water, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, and light energy. Photosynthesis consists of two sets of reactions the first being the photo portion or light reaction which is the reaction that captures solar energy the second being the synthesis reaction or Calvin cycle reactions which converts that solar energy into carbohydrates (Mader, 2010).
For light reactions to occur first light energy enters the cells and is absorbed by the chlorophyll. That Light energy raises the energy level chlorophyll enabling electrons to be freed form the chlorophyll molecules. This makes the chlorophyll molecules positively charged the electrons from hydrogen atoms are attracted to the positively chlorophyll causing water molecules to break apart into oxygen atoms. The elections freed from the chlorophyll and the protons freed from water take part in the chemical reactions in the cell. The reactions result in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and nicotinamide adenine di nucleotide hydrogen phosphate (NADPH2) (Chaney, 2012).
The products of light reactions ATP and NADPH2 are used in the Calvin cycle reactions. The Calvin cycle consist of three processes carbon dioxide fixation, carbon dioxide reduction and regeneration of the first substrate (Book). Carbon dioxide…...

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