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Nanostructured interfaces between photosynthetic bacterial Reaction Center and Silicon electrodes

  • Marco Lo Presti (a1), Danilo Vona (a1), Gabriella Leone (a1) (a2), Giorgio Rizzo (a1), Roberta Ragni (a1), Stefania R. Cicco (a3), Francesco Milano (a4), Fabio Palumbo (a5), Massimo Trotta (a6) and Gianluca M. Farinola (a1)...

Abstract:

Optimizing interfaces between photosynthetic natural photoconverters, like photosynthetic bacterial Reaction Centers (RCs) and electrode surfaces represents a challenge in the progress of bio-optoelectronic devices. The features of the surfaces may result detrimental for the tertiary and quaternary structures of the RC, even resulting in the denaturation of the enzyme. Functional surfaces possessing both confinement capability and conductive features able to preserve the conformation of the biomolecule and its bioelectronic behaviours are highly needed. In this work, the RC is adsorbed on diatomaceous silica and plasma treated hydrophobic silicon based materials. Both the materials are demonstrated to be able to preserve and enhance the RC photoconverting activity. In particular, we evaluate the functioning of isolated bacterial RC interacting with flat pSi electrode through two nanotextured interfaces designed to address the RC: a thin conductive silicon film nanotextured in pillars via plasma treatment, and a cast film of nanostructured dielectric biosilica obtained from diatomaceous earth. The characterization of these interfaces, together with the RC photocurrent production measurements, pave the way to new generation RC based bio-devices for photocurrent investigation.

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