U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Toward Bio-Hybrid Solar Conversion Devices
Published: September 27, 2012
Posted: March 26, 2013

Chlorosomes make up a highly specialized supramolecular light-harvesting antenna complex found in green photosynthetic bacteria. They are of interest in the development of synthetic devices for solar harvesting and conversion because the organization of bacteriochlorophylls in the chlorosome provides a mechanism for highly efficient light collection and energy funneling to the photosynthetic reaction centers. Researchers investigated sol-gel chemistry as an approach to entrap and stabilize chlorosomes isolated from Chloroflexus aurantiacus. The Bio-SANS beamline at the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory enabled the characterization of the sol-gel matrix properties, as well as the size, shape, and aggregation state of the entrapped chlorosomes. This approach offers new possibilities for developing artificial solar-harvesting and energy-conversion devices based on naturally occurring photosynthetic systems.

Reference: O’Dell, W. B., et al. 2012. “Sol-Gel Entrapped Light-Harvesting Antennas: Immobilization and Stabilization of Chlorosomes for Energy Harvesting,” Journal of Materials Chemistry 22, 22582–591. (Reference link)

Contact: Roland F. Hirsch, SC-23.2, (301) 903-9009
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Microbes and Communities
  • Research Area: Structural Biology, Biomolecular Characterization and Imaging
  • Research Area: Structural Biology Infrastructure

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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