Beatty Lab

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The efficient mechanism of light capture by photosynthetic proteins allows for energy transfer and conversion to electrochemical energy at very low light intensities. In this work, reaction center (RC) proteins, or a core complex consisting of the RC encircled by light harvesting (LH1) proteins (RC-LH1) from photosynthetic bacteria, were immobilized on an insulating layer of an ion-sensitive field-effect transistor (ISFET) to build bio-photodetectors. The orientation of the RC proteins was controlled via application of a hybrid linker made of 10-carboxydecylphosphonic acid and cytochrome c that anchored the RCs to their electron donor side. Bio-phototransistors consisting of either the core RC or the RC-LH1 core complex were tested under white and monochromic light. The difference between the dark and light currents at different wavelengths are well-matched with the absorption spectrum of the photosynthetic proteins. The results show potential for the use of photosynthetic proteins in photodetectors.

Keywords: bio-phototransistor;  reaction centerrhodobacter sphaeroides