Near-IR absorbing solar cell sensitized with bacterial photosynthetic membranes

Kamil Woronowicz, Saquib Ahmed, Archana A. Biradar, Ankush V. Biradar, Dunbar P Birnie, Teddy Asefa, Robert A. Niederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current interest in natural photosynthesis as a blueprint for solar energy conversion has led to the development of a biohybrid photovoltaic cell in which bacterial photosynthetic membrane vesicles (chromatophores) have been adsorbed to a gold electrode surface in conjunction with biological electrolytes (quinone [Q] and cytochrome c; Magis et al. [2010] Biochim. Biophys. Acta1798, 637-645). Since light-driven current generation was dependent on an open circuit potential, we have tested whether this external potential could be replaced in an appropriately designed dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). Herein, we show that a DSSC system in which the organic light-harvesting dye is replaced by robust chromatophores from Rhodospirillum rubrum, together with Q and cytochrome c as electrolytes, provides band energies between consecutive interfaces that facilitate a unidirectional flow of electrons. Solar I-V testing revealed a relatively high Isc (short-circuit current) of 25 μA cm -2 and the cell was capable of generating a current utilizing abundant near-IR photons (maximum at ca 880 nm) with greater than eight-fold higher energy conversion efficiency than white light. These studies represent a powerful demonstration of the photoexcitation properties of a biological system in a closed solid-state device and its successful implementation in a functioning solar cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1472
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Volume88
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Fingerprint

Photosynthetic membranes
Solar cells
solar cells
dyes
cytochromes
membranes
Cytochromes c
Energy conversion
Electrolytes
Membranes
Chromatophores
blueprints
electrolytes
Coloring Agents
Solid state devices
solid state devices
solar energy conversion
Blueprints
photosynthesis
Light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Near-IR absorbing solar cell sensitized with bacterial photosynthetic membranes. / Woronowicz, Kamil; Ahmed, Saquib; Biradar, Archana A.; Biradar, Ankush V.; Birnie, Dunbar P; Asefa, Teddy; Niederman, Robert A.

In: Photochemistry and Photobiology, Vol. 88, No. 6, 11.2012, p. 1467-1472.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Woronowicz, Kamil ; Ahmed, Saquib ; Biradar, Archana A. ; Biradar, Ankush V. ; Birnie, Dunbar P ; Asefa, Teddy ; Niederman, Robert A. / Near-IR absorbing solar cell sensitized with bacterial photosynthetic membranes. In: Photochemistry and Photobiology. 2012 ; Vol. 88, No. 6. pp. 1467-1472.
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