High-performance bioassisted nanophotocatalyst for hydrogen production

Shankar Balasubramanian, Peng Wang, Richard D. Schaller, Tijana Rajh, Elena A. Rozhkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Nanophotocatalysis is one of the potentially efficient ways of capturing and storing solar energy. Biological energy systems that are intrinsically nanoscaled can be employed as building blocks for engineering nanobio-photocatalysts with tunable properties. Here, we report upon the application of light harvesting proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (bR) assembled on Pt/TiO2 nanocatalyst for visible light-driven hydrogen generation. The hybrid system produces 5275 μmole of H2 (μmole protein)-1 h-1 at pH 7 in the presence of methanol as a sacrificial electron donor under white light. Photoelectrochemical and transient absorption studies indicate efficient charge transfer between bR protein molecules and TiO2 nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3365-3371
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 10 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteriorhodopsin
  • energy
  • Nanobiohybrid
  • protons photoreduction
  • Pt/TiO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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