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Assembly of photo-bioelectrochemical cells using photosystem I-functionalized electrodes

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 28 January 2016

Abstract

The design of photo-bioelectrochemical cells based on native photosynthetic reaction centres is attracting substantial recent interest as a means for the conversion of solar light energy into electrical power. In the natural photosynthetic apparatus, the photosynthetic reaction centres are coupled to biocatalytic transformations leading to CO2 fixation and O2 evolution. Although significant progress in the integration of native photosystems with electrodes for light-to-electrical energy conversion has been achieved, the conjugation of the photosystems to enzymes to yield photo-bioelectrocatalytic solar cells remains a challenge. Here we demonstrate the assembly of integrated photosystem I/glucose oxidase or glucose dehydrogenase photo-bioelectrochemical electrodes. We highlight the photonic wiring of the biocatalysts by means of photosystem I using glucose as fuel. Our results provide a general approach to assemble photo-bioelectrochemical solar cells with wide implications for solar energy conversion, bioelectrocatalysis and sensing.

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Figure 1: Assembly of an electrically contacted PSI/enzyme photoelectrochemical electrode.
Figure 2: Electrochemical and optical characterization of the stepwise assembly of the PSI/GOx photoelectrochemical electrode.
Figure 3: Energy level diagram corresponding to the redox components of the PSI/GOx photoelectrochemical electrode.
Figure 4: Photocurrent features generated by the PQQ/PSI/Os2+∕3+-polymer/GOx photo-bioelectrochemical electrode.
Figure 5: An electrically wired photo-bioelectrochemical electrode consisting of a Pt-nanocluster/PSI/Os2+∕3+-polymer/GOx assembly and the resulting anodic photocurrents generated by the electrode.

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Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the German–Israeli programme (DIP) and by the Minerva Center for Biohybrid Complex Systems.

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Contributions

A.E. planned and performed the experiments. D.M. and R.N. purified and provided the PSI. S.A. and W.S. synthesized and provided the Os2+∕3+-polyvinylimidazole complex. I.W. planned and supervised the experiments. All authors discussed the results and participated in the formulation of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Itamar Willner.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Efrati, A., Lu, CH., Michaeli, D. et al. Assembly of photo-bioelectrochemical cells using photosystem I-functionalized electrodes. Nat Energy 1, 15021 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2015.21

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