Interface for light-driven electron transfer by photosynthetic complexes across block copolymer membranes

Liangju Kuang, Tien L. Olson, Su Lin, Marco Flores, Yunjiang Jiang, Wan Zheng, Joann Williams, James Allen, Hongjun Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Incorporation of membrane proteins into nanodevices to mediate recognition and transport in a collective and scalable fashion remains a challenging problem. We demonstrate how nanoscale photovoltaics could be designed using robust synthetic nanomembranes with incorporated photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs). Specifically, RCs from Rhodobacter sphaeroides are reconstituted spontaneously into rationally designed polybutadiene membranes to form hierarchically organized proteopolymer membrane arrays via a charge-interaction-directed reconstitution mechanism. Once incorporated, the RCs are fully active for prolonged periods based upon a variety of spectroscopic measurements, underscoring preservation of their 3D pigment configuration critical for light-driven charge transfer. This result provides a strategy to construct solar conversion devices using structurally versatile proteopolymer membranes with integrated RC functions to harvest broad regions of the solar spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-791
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 6 2014


  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • amphiphilic block copolymer membranes
  • biohybrid photoconversion
  • charge-interaction-directed reconstitution
  • membrane protein
  • photosynthetic reaction center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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