Supramolecular self-assembly of bacteriochlorophyll c molecules in aerosolized droplets to synthesize biomimetic chlorosomes

Vivek B. Shah, Chloe Ferris, Gregory S. Orf, Shalinee Kavadiya, Jessica R. Ray, Young Shin Jun, Byeongdu Lee, Robert E. Blankenship, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The unique properties of chlorosomes, arising out of the self-assembled bateriochlorophyll (BChl) c structure, have made them attractive for use in solar cells. In this work, we have demonstrated the self-assembly of BChl c in aerosolized droplets to mimic naturally occurring chlorosomes. We compare two different methods for self-assembly of BChl c, one using a single-solvent and the other using two-solvents, and demonstrate the superiority of the two-solvent method. Results show that the self-assembled BChl c sprayed at different concentrations resulted in a varying red shift of 69–75 nm in absorption spectrum compared to the solution, which has peak at 668 nm corresponding to the monomeric BChl c. The sample fluoresces at 780 nm indicating a quality of self-assembly comparable to that observed in naturally occurring chlorosomes. In order to mimic chlorosomes, solution containing BChl c, BChl a, lipids and carotenes in same proportion as in chlorosomes is sprayed. The resulting self-assembly has an absorption peak at 750 nm, shifted by 82 nm compared to that of monomers and the fluorescence peak at 790 nm. Thus in presence of lipids and carotenes, both the absorption and fluorescence peaks are red shifted. Further, using grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS), we characterized the deposited films, and the 2D X-ray scattering patterns of sample clearly indicate the distinct lamellar structure as present in chlorosomes. The results of this work provide new insights into self-assembly in aerosolized droplets, which can be used for assembling a wide range of molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteriochlorophyll c
  • Chlorosome
  • Electrospray atomization
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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