Journal article

Virus-Templated Assembly of Porphyrins into Light-Harvesting Nanoantennae

Biological molecules can be used as versatile templates for assembling nanoscale materials because of their unique structures and chemical diversities. Supramolecular organization of molecular pigments, as is found in the natural light-harvesting antenna, has drawn attention for its potential applications to sensors, photocatalytic systems, and photonic devices. Here we show the arrangement of molecular pigments into a one-dimensional light-harvesting antenna using M 13 viruses as scaffolds. Chemical grafting of zinc porphyrins to M 13 viruses induces distinctive spectroscopic changes, including fluorescence quenching, the extensive band broadening and small red shift of their absorption spectrum, and the shortened lifetime of the excited states. Based on these optical signatures we suggest a hypothetical model to explain the energy transfer Occurring in the supramolecular porphyrin structures templated with the virus. We expect that further genetic engineering of M 13 viruses can allow us to coassemble other functional materials (e.g., catalysts and electron transfer mediators) with pigments, implying potential applications to photochemical devices.


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