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Synthetic materials can be combined with biological components in many ways. One example that provides scientists with multiple challenges is a photobioelectrode that converts sunlight into electrons in a biohybrid approach. In the present study several key parameters are evaluated concerning their influence on the direct electron transfer from a 3D indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode material to photosystem I (PSI) as a light-harvesting biomolecule. In contrast to previous investigations, no mediating molecule is added to shuttle the electrons to the luminal side of PSI. Thus, this setup is less complex than foregoing ones. The solution composition drastically influences the interaction of PSI with the ITO surface. Here, the application of higher buffer concentrations and the addition of salts are advantageous, whereas the nature of the buffer ions plays a minor role. The artificial electrode material's thickness is adjustable since a spin-coating procedure is used for preparation. With a 30 μm thick structure and immobilized PSI cathodic photocurrents up to 10.1 μA cm-2 are obtained at 100 mW cm-2 illumination intensity and an applied potential of -0.1V vs. Ag/AgCl. Over a period of three days the photobioelectrodes are illuminated for a total of 90 min and stored between the measurements at ambient temperature. The stability of the setup is noteworthy as still about 90% of the photocurrent is retained. The photocathode described here offers many positive features, including a high onset potential for the photocurrent starting sligthly above the redox potentail of P700, and applicability in a wide pH range from pH 5 to 8. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sascha Morlock, Senthil Kumar Subramanian, Athina Zouni, Fred Lisdat. Bio-inorganic hybrid structures for direct electron transfer to photosystem I in photobioelectrodes. Biosensors & bioelectronics. 2022 Oct 15;214:114495

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PMID: 35834976

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