Optoelectronic energy transfer at novel biohybrid interfaces using light harvesting complexes from chloroflexus aurantiacus

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5 Scopus citations


In nature, nanoscale supramolecular light harvesting complexes initiate the photosynthetic energy collection process at high quantum efficiencies. In this study, the distinctive antenna structure from Chloroflexus aurantiacus-the chlorosome-is assessed for potential exploitation in novel biohybrid optoelectronic devices. Electrochemical characterization of bacterial fragments containing intact chlorosomes with the photosynthetic apparatus show an increase in the charge storage density near the working electrode upon light stimulation and suggest that chlorosomes contribute approximately one-third of the overall photocurrent. Further, isolated chlorosomes (without additional photosynthetic components, e.g., reaction centers, biochemical mediators) produce a photocurrent (∼8-10 nA) under light saturation conditions. Correlative experiments indicate that the main chlorosome pigment, bacteriochlorophyll-c, contributes to the photocurrent via an oxidative mechanism. The results reported herein are the first to demonstrate that isolated chlorosomes (lipid-enclosed sacs of pigments) directly transduce light energy in an electrochemical manner, laying an alternative, biomimetic approach for designing photosensitized interfaces in biofuel cells and biomedical devices, such as bioenhanced retinal prosthetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6508-6516
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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