Optical Shading Induces an In-Plane Potential Gradient in a Semiartificial Photosynthetic System Bringing Photoelectric Synergy

Sai Kishore Ravi, Yaoxin Zhang, Yanan Wang, Dilip Krishna Nandakumar, Wanxin Sun, Michael R. Jones, Swee Ching Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Semiartificial photosynthetic systems have opened up new avenues for harvesting solar energy using natural photosynthetic materials in combination with synthetic components. This work reports a new, semiartificial system for solar energy conversion that synergistically combines photoreactions in a purple bacterial photosynthetic membrane with those in three types of transition metal–semiconductor Schottky junctions. A transparent film of a common transition metal interfaced with an n-doped silicon semiconductor exhibits an in-plane potential gradient when a light-penetration variance is established on its surface by optical shading of photoabsorbing photosynthetic membranes. The in-plane potential gradients (0.08–0.3 V) enable a directional charge transport between the synthetic and natural photoelectric systems, which is further enhanced in a device setting by a biocompatible thixotropic gel electrolyte that permeates the membrane multilayer, facilitating a strong and steady photoelectric current as high as 1.3 mA cm−2, the highest achieved so far with any anoxygenic photosynthetic system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1901449
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Volume9
Issue number35
Early online date1 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019

Structured keywords

  • BrisSynBio
  • Bristol BioDesign Institute

Keywords

  • asymmetric photoexcitation
  • bio-photovoltaic
  • in-plane electric field
  • semiartificial photosynthetic system
  • SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

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