Photoinitated charge separation in a hybrid titanium dioxide metalloporphyrin peptide material

H. Christopher Fry, Yuzi Liu, Nada M. Dimitrijevic, Tijana Rajh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In natural systems, electron flow is mediated by proteins that spatially organize donor and acceptor molecules with great precision. Achieving this guided, directional flow of information is a desirable feature in photovoltaic media. Here, we design self-assembled peptide materials that organize multiple electronic components capable of performing photoinduced charge separation. Two peptides, c16-AHL3K3-CO2H and c16-AHL 3K9-CO2H, self-assemble into fibres and provide a scaffold capable of binding a metalloporphyrin via histidine axial ligation and mineralize titanium dioxide (TiO2) on the lysine-rich surface of the resulting fibrous structures. Electron paramagnetic resonance studies of this self-assembled material under continuous light excitation demonstrate charge separation induced by excitation of the metalloporphyrin and mediated by the peptide assembly structure. This approach to dye-sensitized semiconducting materials offers a means to spatially control the dye molecule with respect to the semiconducting material through careful, strategic peptide design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4606
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Aug 18 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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