Photoelectrochemical complexes for solar energy conversion that chemically and autonomously regenerate

Research areas:
  • Uncategorized
Year: 2010
Type of Publication: Article
  • Moon-Ho Ham, Ardemis A. Boghossian Jong Hyun Choi
Journal: Nature Chemistry Volume: 2
Number: 11 Pages: 929-936
Month: NOV 2010
PT: J; TC: 14; UT: WOS:000283354300011
Naturally occurring photosynthetic systems use elaborate pathways of self-repair to limit the impact of photo-damage. Here, we demonstrate a complex consisting of two recombinant proteins, phospholipids and a carbon nanotube that mimics this process. The components self-assemble into a configuration in which an array of lipid bilayers aggregate on the surface of the carbon nanotube, creating a platform for the attachment of light-converting proteins. The system can disassemble upon the addition of a surfactant and reassemble upon its removal over an indefinite number of cycles. The assembly is thermodynamically metastable and can only transition reversibly if the rate of surfactant removal exceeds a threshold value. Only in the assembled state do the complexes exhibit photoelectrochemical activity. We demonstrate a regeneration cycle that uses surfactant to switch between assembled and disassembled states, resulting in an increased photoconversion efficiency of more than 300% over 168 hours and an indefinite extension of the system lifetime.