A paper from LNBE accepted for publication by the highly rated Journal of Physical Chemistry C

The highly rated Journal of Physical Chemistry C, whose specialty is publication of breakthrough data on the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, has informed that it accepted for publication a study coauthored by two researchers of LNBE, Konstantin E. Mochalov (Biophysics Group) and Igor R. Nabiev (leading scientist of LNBE), and their colleagues from the United States, Denmark, France, Singapore, and Spain.*

The authors suggest a new method for engineering photovoltaic cells whose energy transformers are the so-called purple membranes, cell membranes of the photosynthetic bacterium Halobacterium salinarum containing the photoactive protein bacteriorhodopsin. Purple membranes are highly stable and, hence, promising for use in solid-state photoconverters. For increasing the efficiency of solar energy utilization, semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots), which form complexes with bacteriorhodopsin, are used as light-harvesting elements in the photovoltaic cell. Absorbing energy in a broad spectral range (in contrast to bacteriorhodopsin), quantum dots non-radiatively transfer it to the photosynthesizing protein through the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) mechanism. Since bacteriorhodopsin generates electric potential by transporting a proton from the inner side of the membrane to its outer side, the orientation of purple membranes on the substrate electrode is a crucial factor. In the given case, an ordered orientation of the membranes is obtained by covalently binding genetically modified bacteriorhodopsin to a gold electrode. The suggested approach allows solar energy to be converted with an efficiency that is sufficient for practical applications.

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* Renugopalakrishnan, V., Barbiellini, B., King, C., Molinari, M., Mochalov, K., Sukhanova, A., Nabiev, I., Fojan, P., Tuller, H., Chin, M., Somasundaran, P., Padrós, E., Ramakrishna, S. Engineering a robust photovoltaic device with quantum dots and bacteriorhodopsin. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp502885s.

 

Contact:

Konstantin E. Mochalov, PhD, senior research assistant, LNBE, NRNU MEPhI (mochalov@mail.ru)

Biophysics Group, Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, 31 Kashirskoe shosse, 115409 Moscow, Russian Federation

http://www.lnbe.mephi.ru/en

 
 
 
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