Enhancing Photocurrent Generation in Photosynthetic Reaction Center-Based Photoelectrochemical Cells with Biomimetic DNA Antenna

Anne Marie Carey, Hao Jie Zhang, Minghui Liu, Daiana Sharaf, Natalie Akram, Hao Yan, Su Lin, Neal W. Woodbury, Dong Kyun Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Three- to four-times higher performance of biohybrid photoelectrochemical cells with photosynthetic reaction centers (RC) has been achieved by using a DNA-based biomimetic antenna. Synthetic dyes Cy3 and Cy5 were chosen and strategically placed in the anntena in such a way that they can collect additional light energy in the visible region of the solar spectrum and transfer it to RC through Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). The antenna, a DNA templated multiple dye system, is attached to each Rhodobacter sphaeroides RC near the primary donor, P, to facilitate the energy transfer process. Excitation with a broad light spectrum (approximating sunlight) triggers a cascade of excitation energy transfer from Cy3 to Cy5 to P, and also directly from Cy5 to P. This additional excitation energy increases the RC absorbance cross-section in the visible and thus the performance of the photoelectrochemical cells. DNA-based biomimetic antennas offer a tunable, modular light-harvesting system for enhancing RC solar coverage and performance for photoelectrochemical cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4457-4460
Number of pages4
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 23 2017



  • artificial photosynthesis
  • DNA
  • energy transfer
  • light harvesting
  • photoelectrochemical cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy(all)

Cite this