Electrospray-assisted characterization and deposition of chlorosomes to fabricate a biomimetic light-harvesting device

Luis B. Modesto-Lopez, Elijah J. Thimsen, Aaron M. Collins, Robert E. Blankenship, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Photosynthesis is an efficient process by which solar energy is converted into chemical energy. Green photosynthetic bacteria such as Chloroflexus aurantiacus have supramolecular antenna complexes called chlorosomes attached to their cytoplasmic membrane that increase the cross section for light absorption even in low-light conditions. Self-assembled bacteriochlorophyll pigments in the chlorosome interior play a key role in the efficient transfer and funneling of the harvested energy. In this work it was demonstrated that chlorosomes can be rapidly and precisely size-characterized online in real time using an electrospray-assisted mobility-based technique. Chlorosomes were electrospray-deposited onto TiO2 nanostructured films with columnar morphology to fabricate a novel biomimetic device to overcome the solvent compatibility issues associated with biological particles and synthetic dyes. The assembled unit retained the viability of the chlorosomes, and the harvesting of sunlight over a broader range of wavelengths was demonstrated. It was shown that the presence of chlorosomes in the biomimetic device had a 30-fold increase in photocurrent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-222
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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