The ground beneath our feet and under the ocean floor is an electrically-charged grid created by bacteria "exhaling" excess electrons through tiny nanowires in an oxygen-depleted environment. By identifying the mechanism of electron flow, Yale University researchers have been studying ways to improve this natural electrical conductivity within nanowires 1/100,000th the width of a human hair.
In a new study published today (May 11, 2022) in Science Advances, a team led by graduate student Peter Dahl with Nikhil Malvankar, Assistant Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry in the Microbial Sciences Institute, and Victor Batista, Professor of Chemistry, found that nanowires move 10 billion electrons per second without any energy loss. This research explains the remarkable capacity of these bacteria to send electrons over long distances.
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