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Photovoltage generation in enzymatic bio-hybrid architectures

Michele Di Lauro; Gabriella Buscemi; Michele Bianchi; Anna De Salvo; Marcello Berto; Stefano Carli; Gianluca Maria Farinola; Luciano Fadiga; Fabio Biscarini; Massimo Trotta

Most of the photochemical activity of bacterial photosynthetic apparatuses occurs in the
reaction center, a transmembrane protein complex which converts photons into chargeseparated
states across the membrane with a quantum yield close to unity, fuelling the
metabolism of the organism. Integrating the reaction center from the bacterium Rhodobacter
sphaeroides onto electroactive surfaces, it is possible to technologically exploit the efficiency
of this natural machinery to generate a photovoltage upon Near Infra-Red illumination, which
can be used in electronic architectures working in the electrolytic environment such as
electrolyte-gated organic transistors and bio-photonic power cells. Here, photovoltage
generation in reaction center-based bio-hybrid architectures is investigated by means of
chronopotentiometry, isolating the contribution of the functionalisation layers and defining
novel surface functionalization strategies for photovoltage tuning.

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