Integration of Photosystem I with Carbon-Based Materials for Solar Energy Conversion Devices
Winter, Kevin Matthew
Photosystem I is a photoactive membrane protein found in higher plants, some algae, and cyanobacteria. It is part of the solar energy conversion mechanism that fuels most life on the planet. It has been shown that photocurrents can be produced by exciting films of the protein deposited onto metal and semiconductor electrodes. In an effort to improve these photocurrents by increasing conductivity of the films, this work details the integration of PSI with reduced graphene oxide (RGO) to form conductive composite films of the protein. Additionally, this work establishes progress toward an all carbon-based solar energy conversion device by demonstrating the use of transparent, conductive films of RGO as electrodes for the deposition of photoactive PSI films.