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Tuesday, 04 August, 2009

The optoelectronic properties of a photosystem I–carbon nanotube hybrid system

S.M. Kaniber, F.C. Simmel, A.W. Holleitner and I. Carmeli -
Nanotechnology 20, 345701 (2009)

The photoconductance properties of photosystem I (PSI) covalently bound to carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are measured. We demonstrate that the PSI forms active electronic junctions with the CNTs, enabling control of the CNTs' photoconductance by the PSI. In order to electrically contact the photoactive proteins, a cysteine mutant is generated at one end of the PSI by genetic engineering. The CNTs are covalently bound to this reactive group using carbodiimide chemistry. We detect an enhanced photoconductance signal of the hybrid material at photon wavelengths resonant to the absorption maxima of the PSI compared to non-resonant wavelengths. The measurements prove that it is feasible to integrate photosynthetic proteins into optoelectronic circuits at the nanoscale.

 

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