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Published March 2017 | Published
Journal Article Open



UNESCO proclaimed 2015 as the international year of light and light-based technologies. This internationally celebrated event has opened the way for thoughtful discussions of how light-based technologies could help mankind make a transition to a sustainable planet. Light plays a key role in our daily lives and will become even more important in a world increasingly dependent on technologies that require energy to function. The energy that has led to our technological advancement is mainly based on fossil fuels. Their extensive use has led to a steady increase in CO_2 emissions, which in turn has drastically affected the global climate. After several political attempts to reach a common objective to reverse the current trends in emissions, a historic agreement was reached at COP21 held in Paris in December 2015, the year of light. Remarkably, fully 195 countries are engaged in cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. We view this event as an urgent call to chemists and other scientists to develop new materials and methods for the production of clean solar fuels. The grand challenge facing us is the development of scalable integrated artificial photosynthetic devices built from robust materials for optimal light capture and conversion.

Additional Information

© 2016 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Available online 27 April 2016.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023