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Publication - Dr Mike Jones

    High-Performance UV Enhancer Molecules Coupled with Photosynthetic Proteins for Ultra-Low-Intensity UV Detection

    Citation

    Suresh, L, Vaghasiya, J, Nandakumar, DK, Wu, T, Jones, M & Tan, SC, 2019, ‘High-Performance UV Enhancer Molecules Coupled with Photosynthetic Proteins for Ultra-Low-Intensity UV Detection’. Chem, vol 5., pp. 1847-1860

    Abstract

    Dual attributes of UV-photo-responsive organic-ionic conductors are exploited in bio-photoelectrochemical cells based on photosynthetic RC-LH1 proteins from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. These UV enhancer molecules (UVEM) can generate small photocurrents in the absence of protein and are also effective electrolytes for photocurrent generation by RC-LH1 complexes in response to near-infrared excitation. Mixing RC-LH1 and UVEM components strongly enhanced UV photocurrents relative to those obtained with protein or UVEM alone, an effect that is attributed to energy transfer from the hetero-anthracene chromophore of the UVEM to the carotenoids of the RC-LH1 complex. RC-LH1/UVEM bio-photoelectrochemical cells were superior to conventional RC-LH1 cells in terms of UV external quantum efficiency, photo-response sensitivity, and photocurrent rise-decay times. These bio-photodetectors could detect weak UV radiation with intensities as low as 2 μW/cm2. This combination of photosynthetic proteins with dual-function electrolytes is the first attempt to construct fully functional bio-photoelectrochemical UV photodetector based on natural components.

    Full details in the University publications repository